Disney has completed its acquisition of UTV, paying $454 million for the shares in the Indian media group that it did not already own. Disney plans to delist UTV from the Indian stock exchange and is creating Walt Disney Company India, a new holding company that will manage UTV alongside its other assets in the country.
“UTV is the leading Indian movie studio and they have a very successful group of TV networks,” commented Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International. “This is about providing us with scale and a complementary set of brands and assets to help drive growth for the company.”
The deal was completed after a public tender offer for the 20 per cent of UTV shares owned by individual investors. Disney plans to produce Disney and UTV-branded films in India.
“With the middle class [in India] expected to grow from 50 million to more than 500 million people by 2025, this market offers huge potential for us to deliver quality branded entertainment to consumers,” said Ronnie Screwvala, the former chief executive of UTV – and now the managing director of Walt Disney Company India