Burbank, Calif. and Mumbai, February 2, 2012: India’s leading television and movie production house, UTV, has become a Walt Disney company. On Tuesday, the completion of the acquisition was announced simultaneously in the US and India, with Disney now owning a controlling stake in the Indian company. UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala has been named named Managing Director, The Walt Disney Company India. This makes Disney one of the biggest film and TV studios in India. UTV distributes in20 countries in seven languages and across 27 channels, owning 6 TV channels of its own. It also owns the country's number one mobile gaming company, IndiaGames.
"In combining the creative capabilities of each company we will integrate a large stable of vibrant brands and franchises in the branded entertainment space," says Screwvala. "With the middle class expected to grow from 50 million to more than 500 million people by 2025, this market offers huge potential for us to deliver quality branded entertainment to consumers”.
“This acquisition expands our footprint significantly and allows us to more effectively build, monetize and brand multi-platform franchises, and deliver a rich library of content to the world's second largest population”, adds Andy Bird, Chairman, Walt Disney International.
Disney currently owns India's leading kids' television networks Disney Channel, Disney XD and Hungama and is the largest retail character licensor in the country.