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Soros picks up 3% in Rel Entertainment

By BS Reporter in New Delhi
February 08, 2008 09:19 IST
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Valuing Reliance Entertainment for a whopping $3 billion, or Rs 12,000 crore (Rs 120 billion), US tycoon George Soros has picked up 3 per cent equity stake in the Reliance Anil Dhirubai Ambani Group company for $100 million (Rs 400 crore).

Money Matters

  • Reliance Entertainment is the flagship and umbrella entertainment company of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and 100 per cent owned by Anil Ambani
  • REL has three main lines of business -- Internet and new media, film entertainment and TV broadcasting
  • The company recently signed up directors, including Farhan Akhtar, for five films reportedly for Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.5 billion)

Reliance Entertainment is the flagship and umbrella entertainment company of the group and 100 per cent owned by Anil Ambani.

REL has three main lines of business -- Internet and new media, film entertainment and television broadcasting.
When contacted, a REL spokesperson confirmed the development and added, "We are delighted to have a sophisticated investor such as George Soros as a stakeholder in the company that operates in a high-growth entertainment sector."

Under its Internet and new media initiatives, it has launched Zapak, a gaming portal, Big Adda, a social network with 1.25 million users, Big Flicks, an online and offline movie rental business, and Jump Mobile, a mobile entertainment venture.

The film entertainment business comprises film production and distribution as well. REL recently signed up directors such as Farhan Akhtar (for an estimated Rs 250 crore or Rs 2.5 billion for five films), Madhur Bhandarkar and Vivek Agnihotri, amongst others, for production.

The company also recently acquired controlling stake in ND Studio, India's largest production studio. It has also initiated allied ventures such as Big Music (audio CDs), Home Video and animation and special effects.

The company plans to launch a bouquet of TV channels in the news, business and general entertainment space and at least two channels on films and entertainment are expected to be aired this year.

The group's interest in media and entertainment is also reflected through Adlabs in which it holds majority stake. Adlabs runs one of the largest multiplex chains in the country apart from operating a film processing unit and distributing films.

The group has also bought its way into TV content companies such as Synergy Adlabs (earlier known as Synergy Communications), which produces Kaun Banega Crorepati.

Through Reliance Communications, the group is also foraying into direct-to-home services, which will have a soft launch this week, as well as Internet protocol television (IPTV). Group company Reliance Capital has been investing regularly in media companies which include TV Today, and Global Broadcast News (GBN), amongst others.

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BS Reporter in New Delhi
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