Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Peter Mukerjea's private equity-funded broadcast venture INX Media officially launched

Two new media companies INX Media Private Limited and INX News Private Limited, promoted by ex-Star CEO Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani, have been officially launched. The full bouquet of channels will include a Hindi entertainment channel, an English news channel, various entertainment channels in regional languages, a music channel and city-specific channels. INX Group promoter Indrani Mukerjea will be chairperson of the venture.

The Hindi general entertainment channel, the music channel and the English news channel will be launched by the last quarter of the year while the other channels will be rolled out over the next two years. Funding for the entertainment company INX Media has come in from Temasek Holdings via Dunearn Investments, New Silk Route, New Vernon, Kotak and SREI Group. The news company, INX News, will be 26% owned by the entertainment company and, in accordance with government regulations, by a single Indian entity drawn from the INX Group. Heading INX News as CEO and editorial head is Vir Sanghvi.

No single fund will own more than 25% of the entertainment channel. A portion of the equity will be kept aside as sweat equity for key employees both in the entertainment and the news companies. The two companies have already applied for necessary permissions.

Kotak Investment Bank is the exclusive adviser to the INX Group on this transaction. Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co. are the legal advisers to the group. The investors in INX Media which will have the entertainment and the music channels include Dunearn Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, NSR PE, a fund advised by New Silk Route Partners, New Vernon Private Equity, SREI, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company and Kotak Private Equity and IM Media Private Limited.

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