Mumbai: The Raghav Bahl -run Network18 Group ’s investment arm Capital 18 is in talks to sell a majority stake in television production company Colosceum Media Pvt. Ltd as part of continuing efforts to divest units that are not central to its business activities.
Mukul Deora, promoter of film distribution and production firm Watchtower Pictures, is in talks to buy a majority stake in the unit, according to four people close to the development, none of whom wanted to be identified. KPMG is conducting the due diligence for Watchtower.
Network18 holds a 90% stake in Colosceum through venture capital and private equity firm Capital 18, which invests in media, entertainment and technology companies.
Colosceum was founded in 2007 by Ajit Andhare, its chief executive. Capital 18 invested less than Rs.10 crore in the company in 2008 for its stake. The remaining 10% is held by Andhare and Colosceum creative director Rajiv Lakshman, according to three of the people cited above. The production house is valued at around Rs.50 crore, they said.
Colosceum has produced TV shows such as Master Chef India, Roadies, Splitsvilla and Jai Shri Krishna for Colors, Channel V, MTV and Doordarshan among other networks.
Lakshman declined to comment on the stake he holds in the company or on the development. Network18 and Watchtower officials declined to comment.
Watchtower Pictures, formed in 2010, has produced Bheja Fry 2 and distributed movies such as Housefull 2, Cocktail and Gangs of Wasseypur in some areas.
Network18’s move is in line with its strategy of exiting or giving up control of all non-core businesses.
“All recent decisions have been to focus on the core business and monetize non-core verticals in which the group had investments. While Colosceum isn’t exactly non-core since it’s in the TV production space, it still (makes) a healthy return on the group’s investment,” said one of the persons cited above.
This story has been modified to reflect the correct name of Watchtower Pictures.