ACK Media, known for its Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle brands and proprietary characters like Suppandi, is set to enter multiple joint ventures in the Indian media space and also deals with a few European media houses in the areas of the content/characters and brands. The company is also in talks with Tusk Investments, a wholly owned subsidiary of private equity firm Elephant Capital, as part of its fundraising efforts. Recently, ACK Media acquired Indian Book House (IBH) to expand its distributionship in India.
Samir Patil, CEO and Founder of ACK Media said, "We are in talks with 3-4 international media groups. As per the proposed joint ventures, we may acquire the publishing rights for their catalogues. These JVs cover areas of digital distributionships. There are many international players keen to enter Indian media space." Home videos will be another attractive area ACK Media is keen on through the JVs. However, he declined to divulge any further details on the JV plans. Through the deals, ACK Media will receive the rights of portfolio of characters and brands from the European firms in India.
Earlier, Business Standard had reported that Tusk Investment has sought approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to acquire 30% stake in ACK Media. Under the agreement, Tusk Investments will subscribe to 90,000 shares in the media house, which amounts to 29.81% of the paid-up capital of ACK. Under the existing policy, foreign direct investment up to 100% is permitted only for publishing speciality and scientific magazines. Once the ministry endorses ACK's products as being published under this segment, Tusk Investments can proceed with its plans, the report said.
On the PE investments, he said, "We are in talks with Tusk. But it is early to disclose further details." “With an additional investment of Rs 90-100 crore, our objective is to take this figure, over the next three-four years, to the Rs 500 crore mark,” Samir Patil said, in an earlier statement.
There are several global media houses such as Scholastic Corporation, the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media, have presence in India.
The media sector is becoming a attractive investment hub for the PE players. For the year 2010, about five deals worth about $200 million took place in media space. The top deals include $107-million investment in Tikona Digital Networks by Indivision India, Oak Investment and Goldman Sachs and $50-million investment by Blackstone in Jagran Media Network. According to VCCedge, about 73 deals took place in this space worth $1.74 billion.