The Chernin Group's CA Media (the media investment unit for the company's Asia operations) has acquired 49 per cent stake in the production house Endemol India, making it the company's largest investment in Asia. This also marks CA Media's first Indian acquisition. Consequently, Deepak Dhar, who was until now managing director at Endemol, has been promoted as chief executive officer.
The company noted that CA Media's backing will provide Endemol India with extensive operational experience from its principals and the required financial resources to execute the ambitious growth strategy.
Commenting on the partnership, Rajesh Kamat, CEO, CA Media India, says, "Our new partnership with Endemol fits in well with our plans to create a diversified portfolio of assets in the media and entertainment space, with Endemol India being at the epicentre. If there's one company that is poised to really leverage the growth explosion ahead in the Indian content space, then it is Endemol. Our alliance will ensure that Endemol will achieve growth across screens, demographics and genres."
Meanwhile, CA Media has also made investments in Only Much Louder (OML), a music, live events and youth media company in India. The stake amount, however, remained undisclosed at the time of filing this report.
For the record, OML operates at the intersection of three key elements - alternative culture, youth and brands. It focuses on reaching the youth market in India through high quality entertainment properties including music festivals, television and web-based content. CA Media has made this investment alongside Zodius, an investor and operator of digital media, commerce and services companies.
Kamat says, "OML operates in a category that's nascent right now but holds immense potential in the time to come. With over 65 per cent of Indian population under 35 years of age, we're extremely bullish about the value that OML can unlock in this segment."
He adds, "Our expertise in traditional media, coupled with the Zodius team's skills and experience in the digital space, will drive OML's future growth."
Vijay Nair, founder and CEO, OML Entertainment, says, "This investment marks a new phase in the evolution of OML, where we will focus not only on live on-ground properties, but actively look to amplify them through television and digital media. CA Media and Zodius are the right partners to guide us and work with us to strategically scale up OML and build it to its true potential."
It may be recalled that it in November 2010, when The Chernin Group, founded by former News Corp chief operating officer Peter Chernin (who is also the founder of Chernin Entertainment) launched CA Media. The company was put up to strategically build, manage and operate media, entertainment and technology businesses across the APAC. Chernin is the chairperson of the company and Paul Aiello, a founding shareholder of the company, is the chief executive officer.