Disney Tentacles Wrap Closer Around India's UTV

20 February 2008

MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Company is set to increase its holding in India's UTV Software Communications, upping its stake from 13.7% to 32.1% - a move that will give it equal representation on the latter's board.

The Rupee 8.1 billion ($204.29m; €139.232m; £104.16m) investment is welcomed by local entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, who founded the pay-TV company in 2006 against a background of tigerish competition in the nation's pay-TV sector.

Indian stock market rules now require Disney to launch an open offer for an additional 20% of UTV. But Walt Disney International chairman Andy Bird has waived the company's voting rights beyond those applicable to its enlarged stake.

UTV's interests span movie-making, broadcasting and gaming.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff