Future Ventures India Ltd, Kishore Biyani’s investment and business management firm, has taken control of edutainment media firm Amar Chitra Katha Pvt Ltd (ACK). Future Ventures has said in filing that it has acquired 30 per cent stake ‘from existing promoters’ of the company, thus increasing its shareholding to 56 per cent and making ACK its subsidiary. However, the deal size has not been disclosed.
In April this year, Future Ventures had picked up a little over 26 per cent stake in ACK for Rs 37.5 crore, valuing the firm at Rs 140 crore. AIM-listed and India-focused private equity firm Elephant Capital also holds another 26 per cent stake in ACK. With this investment, the combined shareholding of Future Ventures and Elephant Capital in ACK stand at over 82 per cent.
Interestingly, Future Ventures appointed Elephant Capital managing partner as an additional director on its board earlier this week.
The share prices of Future Ventures closed at Rs 9.65 per scrip on Friday (July 22), up 2.44 per cent. Future Ventures, modelled after Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathway, had raised Rs 750 crore through its IPO earlier this year, issuing shares at face value of Rs 10 each.
ACK is into the business of education and entertainment and publishes various children’s magazines and books, such as Tinkle, a comics monthly, and Amar Chitra Katha, a comics series.
The story ACK became interesting in 2007, which former McKinsey employee Samir Patil partnered with Shripal Morakhia to buy properties like Amar Chitra Katha, Tinkle and Karadi Tales from India Book House. Morakhia is the founder of institutional investment banking company SSKI (which was acquired by IDFC) and retail broking company Sharekhan (acquired by Citi Venture Capital).
In 2010, the company has also entered the business of media distribution by acquiring India Book House, one of the largest distributors of books and magazines in India.
After this acquisition, it roped in Elephant Capital as investor which lead a Rs 27-28 crore round in the company (which included a personal investment from Gaurav Burman) in June 2010.
ACK has been focusing on diversifying its product offering to digital media platforms including films, TV, online, mobile and other new media platforms.