Mumbai/Burbank, California – The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Pte Ltd will raise its stake in UTV Software Communications Ltd to 32.1% on a fully diluted share capital basis, with new investments of US$200 million, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. Disney’s investment is to be made through a preferential allotment of new UTV shares. In addition, Disney will make an open tender offer to UTV shareholders as required under Indian securities regulations and detailed in a public announcement to UTV shareholders. Concurrently, Disney will invest approximately US$30million for a 15% stake in UTV Global Broadcasting Limited (UGBL). UGBL, through its subsidiaries, has launched two youth entertainment channels under the Bindass brand and The World Movie channel, and is set to debut UTV Hindi Movies channel. UTV will also invest US$60million in UGBL for a 75% stake, while the remaining shares will remain with the Promoter Group, with which Ronnie Screwvala, chairman and group CEO of UTV is affiliated. In addition, Screwvala and the Promoter Group will raise their shareholding in UTV to 32.1% through issue of warrants. Andy Bird, chairman, Walt Disney International said, “We are pleased with our initial investment in UTV, which has strong local brands and media properties that provide complementary growth platforms to Disney’s existing branded efforts.” Screwvala said, “This partnership across movies, TV content, interactive games and broadcasting endorses our leadership in India and South East Asia and propels our already growing global story.” Disney’s investment complements its Disney-branded businesses and joint-venture in ESPN STAR Sports. In July 2006, Disney acquired Hungama TV, an Indian children’s TV channel, and took an equity interest in UTV.
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