In an effort to further consolidate its position in the children's channel space, Walt Disney on Tuesday said it had accuired UTV owned Hungama TV for USD 30.5 million and also picked up a 14.9 per cent equity interest in UTV's media arm.
"The acquisition of Hungama TV and the investment in UTV will significantly advance our presence in India. Provided the synergies are right, we are also looking to participate in India's vibrant movie market," Walt Disney International President Andy Bird told reporters in Mumbai.
Walt Disney has accquired a 14.9 per cent equity stake in UTV software communications for a whopping 14.5 million USD at the rate of Rs 192.50 for accquiring 3.4 million shares, he added.
Commenting on the merger, UTV Chairman Ronnie Screwala said, "we are looking at a long term relationship, especially joining our synergies in international markets in areas like home video and new media for our movie releases.
However, it is an open-ended relationship and we will see how either of us can add value to a product before working on it together.
When asked where UTV planned to invest the funds from the sale of Hungama, Screwala said, "It will go into content development for films and television. However, we are not ready to write our obituary in the broadcasting space."
Walt Disney India head Rajat Jain said with the addition of Hungama to the Disney stable, the channel bouquet's market share would go up to 49 per cent, adding that the company was looking at creating local content in its bouquet.