B4U sale scrapped
October 16, 2013
By Chris Forrester
Reports from India suggest that the planned buy-out of the popular B4U television group has been shelved, at least for the time being. Eros International had been the prospective buyer and the deal was said to be attractive to Eros because of B4U’s library stockpile of some 2000 movies. B4U transmits a movie channel and also a dedicated music channel. It has widespread international distribution stretching to more than 100 markets.
Eros International plc is an Isle of Man registered company (and 39 per cent publicly held), although its distribution arm is based in Dubai. Its two main trading entities are Eros Digital Private Ltd and Eros Eros International Media Ltd which are both India-based.
Eros owns 24 per cent of B4U, and had said last year that it would buy the 76 per cent balance for a total of $53 million. That 76 per cent is owned by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and industrialist Gokul Binani (via their LMB Holdings vehicle).
Late last year Eros struck a partnership agreement with Time-Warner’s HBO for two ad-free premium TV channels (HBO Defined and HBO Hits).
Currently Eros is listed on the London AIM stock market, but is seeking a listing on the NYSE whereupon it will cancel its London listing.