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Rediff.com  » Business » Walt Disney may hike stake in UTV to 32%

Walt Disney may hike stake in UTV to 32%

February 18, 2008 12:35 IST
Walt Disney is close to increasing its stake in Ronnie Screwvala-promoted media company UTV Software Communications to 32 per cent.

At present, Walt Disney holds 14.85 per cent in the company while the promoters own 30.6 per cent. The deal, according to sources, is estimated at around Rs 1,300 crore (Rs 13 billion).

In addition, Walt Disney will also buy 15 per cent stake in UTV's broadcasting subsidiary which will soon launch an English business news channel.

The announcement is likely to be made on Monday. Recently, Screwvala reportedly said that the company was close to signing a strategic partner. In 2006, Walt Disney bought out UTV's kids channel Hungama.

UTV Software Communication deals in motion pictures, new media (gaming and animation), broadcast and television content.

The company is slated to launch a bouquet of eight channels this year under its subsidiary, UTV Broadcasting. Last year, it launched a youth channel Bindass and movies channel Bindass Movies. It has also launched World Movies Channel this year.

UTV has grand plans for its foray in the broadcasting venture. UTV Global

Broadcasting, its wholly owned subsidiary, will launch 9 channels in a phased manner with an outlay of Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion). This would include regional channels in the entertainment space.

However, it isn't clear yet if Walt Disney's stake in the broadcasting venture will also mark the American Broadcasting Company News-owned company's foray in the Indian business news space.

Aminah Sheikh in Mumbai
Source: