At the same time, Disney has also acquired a 15% stake in UTV Global Broadcasting Limited (UGBL) worth $30m (Rs1.19bn). UTV will also invest $60m (Rs2.4bn) for a 75% stake in UGBL. The remaining 10% will continue to be held by UTV founder Ronnie Screwvala's Promoter Group.
UGBL is the parent company for two wholly-owned subsidiaries - Genex Entertainment and UTV Entertainment Television. Genex has launched two youth entertainment channels through the Bindass brand, while UTV Television Entertainment has just launched the World Movies channel and is about to launch UTV Hindi Movies channel.
Screwvala commented: 'This partnership across movies, TV content, interactive and broadcasting endorses our leadership position in India and South East Asia and propels our already growing global story. Over the last year we have learnt to work well together and the speed at which this collaborative deal was put together is testament to the strong working relationship we have built.'
Walt Disney International chairman Andy Bird 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. The UTV management team is proven and well-respected, and we look forward to continue to work with them.'