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Packer packs fund for India biz

Exec to buy movie and sports channels

SYDNEY — Kerry Packer has launched a $250 million venture capital fund to invest in Indian information technology and e-commerce companies with local entrepreneur Ketan Parekh and Hindustan Futuristic Communications in which Packer recently acquired a $328 million 10% stake.

Packer is also reportedly negotiating to bow Indian movie and sports channels with Subrata Roy’s Sahara Group, with whom the titan has just launched a general entertainment channel in a $40 million joint venture.

Packer’s Indian foray follows plans unveiled earlier this month by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in TV services and technology firms.

Last month, Packer clinched a contract with state broadcaster Doordarshan to produce TV coverage of international cricket played in India until 2002.

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