Peter Mukerjea, who only last week stepped down as the chairman and chief strategy officer at INX Media, is leading the race for the top job at Multi Screen Media (MSM).

INX Media and MSM, which was previously known as Sony Entertainment Television, are looking at a possible merger, reports Economic Times. Peter and and his wife Indrani Mukerjea both stepped down from their managerial roles last week, but they continue to be shareholders in INX Media.

If the merger happens, it's likely to be a cashless deal involving a fresh issue of shares by MSM to INX Media. Earlier media reports have also said that former Sony Executive Rajat Jain, Reliance Big Entertainment CEO Rajesh Sawhney and current MSM COO NP Singh may also become the company COO. Jain is presently MD & CEO of VAS firm mobile2win, which was sold to Chandigarh's Altruist Group recently.

INX Media had raised $170 million in funding in 2007 from clutch of private equity investors including Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, New Silk Route, Kotak Mahindra Capital and New Vernon Private Equity. INX Media was also looking to raise another $150 million last year and now seems to be running.

INX Media has two properties, Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) 9X and music channel 9XM. While 9XM is the number one music channel in the country, but the GEC channel hasn't fared well. It has already sold off the news channel INX News to Vinay Chhajlani, the promoter of Indore-based regional dailies Naidunia and Nav Dunia.

The MSM bouquet comprises of Hindi GEC SET, SET MAX, SAB and PIX. Adding top music channel to its bouquet will give good synergies to MSM. In the last few years MSM has slipped from the top slot in broadcasting to number 4.

In another development, the Indian promoters of MSM are also looking to sell their 32% stake in the firm and General Atlantic, Standard Chartered PE and UK-based Ashmore Investments are said to be in the race.

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