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Walt Disney buys out UTV arm for $30.5 mn

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July 26, 2006 01:26 IST
International entertainment and media major Walt Disney has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent stake in United Home Entertainment Ltd for $30.5 million, which owns 24-hour kids channel Hungama TV.

As part of this strategic alliance, Walt Disney will also purchase 14.9 per cent stake for $14 million of the expanded capital in Mumbai-based entertainment company UTV Software Communication.

UHEL is a joint venture floated by UTV Software with 49 per cent stake and Ronnie Screwvala having 51 per cent stake.

Post, acquisition, UTV will continue as local content provider to Hungama TV.

With regard to strategic investment in UTV, Disney will subscribe to 34 lakh equity shares representing 14.9 per cent of the expanded capital of Rs 10 each at Rs 192.5 per share aggregating Rs 65.45 crore.

Post strategic sale, Disney will have a representative on the UTV board.

"Of $34.5 million, $1.2 million will go to the promoters and remaining will be retained by UTV," a company executive said.

UTV will issue 19.49 lakh warrants to the promoters of UTV within 18 months, which are convertible into one equity share each of the company, at a price of Rs 192.5 per share.

After the exercise of warrant option, Disney's share will come down to 13.6 per cent from current 14.9 per cent.

"From fresh equity, promoters' warrant and sale of Hungama TV, UTV will see a total capital inflow of over Rs 236 crore," an executive said. UTV Chief Operating Officer Ronald D'mello said this capital would be used to fund new businesses.