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Sony Pictures set for 94% stake in Multi Screen Media

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is to acquire a further 32% shareholding in entertainment group Multi Screen Media (MSM), which runs Sony's television channels in India.

Subject to government approval, the US$271 million deal is expected to conclude at the end of this year, and would bring SPT's interest in MSM to just over 94%. The 32% of shares will be acquired from Grandway Global Holdings and Atals Equifin.

"SPT has enjoyed great success with our channels in India and this acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to entertaining Indian audiences," said Andy Kaplan, president, worldwide networks, Sony Pictures Television.

"We'd especially like to thank Grandway and Atlas for their entrepreneurial spirit that helped to get this venture off the ground 17 years ago."

Under the terms of the agreement, SPT will pay US$271 million to Grandway and Atlas for their shares, with a US$145 million payment anticipated by the end of December 2012 and the remaining US$126 million to be paid in three equal annual instalments, beginning in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2014.

MSM operates Hindi general entertainment channel Sony Entertainment Television (SET); the MAX movie and events channel; comedy and entertainment on SAB; Hollywood film channel PIX; music channel MIX; and the recently launched sports channel, SIX.

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