Disney raises stake to 50 percent in UTV Software

December 8th, 2008 - 2:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 8 (IANS) Walt Disney Company (South East Asia) has raised its stake to more than 50 percent and has become the majority shareholder of UTV Software Communications, a UTV official said.Walt Disney recently acquired about 20 percent of UTV shares from the open market and increased its holding in the company to more than 50 percent. Earlier, its shareholding was 37 percent.

This made Walt Disney the first Hollywood studio to have majority shares in an Indian entertainment company.

The shareholding of UTV and Walt Disney in UTV Software Communications has increased to 83.25 percent, the official added.

In February, Walt Disney had invested $190 million in UTV Software and increased its stake from 14.85 percent to 37.29 percent.

According to UTV sources, though Walt Disney is now a majority partner of UTV Software Communications, its equation in the company will remain unchanged.

As per an agreement reached with UTV founder, Ronnie Screwvala, Walt Disney will not claim more than three seats it already has on the UTV Software 12-member board. Also, it will not use its voting rights till 2012.

An industry source revealed that Disney might have taken advantage of the market slowdown to buy UTV software’s 23 percent additional shares in the open market at a cheaper rate.

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