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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Disney to Acquire Rest of Bollywood Movie Company

Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday said that it has offered to pay as much as $454 million to buy out the remaining half of Indian media company UTV Software Communications Ltd.

Disney currently owns 50.4 percent of the Mumbai company, which makes and distributes movies, TV programs and video games. The offer is roughly an 11 percent premium to UTV’s closing price on India’s stock market.

Disney would buy a 20 percent stake held by UTV founders once the deal is approved by shareholders and regulators in India. Under the deal, UTV Chief Executive Rohinton “Ronnie” Screwvala, a major shareholder, would become Disney’s chief of operations in India. The remaining shares would be purchased from public shareholders.

Analysts say the Burbank media giant is hoping that UTV, which also operates TV channels, will provide greater visibility for Disney in south Asia.

“Part of Walt Disney’s rationale for increasing its stake in UTV is to get more of a foothold in the film industry,” Rohit Maheshwari, an analyst at Mumbai’s KR Choksey Shares & Securities Pvt., told Bloomberg News. “It’s the right time to do this because UTV is one of the few players in the market that’s been really successful at making movies.”

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