Sony ups stake in Indian TV company MSM

Sony Pictures TV pays $271 mil for 32% stake

LONDON — Sony Pictures Television is to buy a further 32% stake in Indian TV channels operator Multi Screen Media, bringing its holding to 94%.

The deal with Grandway Global Holdings and Atlas Equifin, which launched MSM in 1995, is worth $271 million.

The acquisition, subject to the approval of the Indian government, is expected to close by the end of December.

SPT will initially pay $145 million and the remaining $126 million in three equal annual instalments starting from the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.

The channels MSM operates include Hindi-language Sony Entertainment Television, which plays a broad range of programming, including “Indian Idol” and the local version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”; comedy-skewed SAB; Max, which screens Hindi movies and special events; Pix, which plays Hollywood movies; music channel Mix and the recently launched sports channel Six.

“SPT has enjoyed great success with our channels in India and this acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to entertaining Indian audiences,” said Andy Kaplan, SPT prexy of worldwide networks.

SPT, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, produces more than 6,000 hours of programming a year in more than 70 countries.

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