Zee to hold 74% stake in JV with Turner

Zee Telefilms Limited and Turner International (India) Private Ltd, an AOL Time Warner Company, today announced an agreement to form a joint venture company, Zee Turner Private Ltd, to manage distribution and trade marketing for a bouquet of channels of the two companies and third party channels in India and South Asia.

The JV partners are currently seeking all relevant regulatory approvals, an official release states.

Zee will hold 74 per cent equity and Turner 26 per cent in the joint venture. The company will be based in New Delhi. The board of directors will comprise three directors nominated by Zee and one by Turner. DP Naganand, director of Zee Telefilms and group head, access business for Zee, will be chairman. The JV will be managed by a team of Turner and Zee executives. Anshuman Misra will be managing director of the JV (and will continue to head up Turner), with Sunil Khanna as the CEO, Paresh Karia as the CFO and Siddharth Jain as the senior vice-president, distribution.

Zee group chairman Subhash Chandra expressed his happiness about the formation of the joint venture with Turner, a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner, the world’s largest media company and said: “This new joint venture is in keeping with Zee’s philosophy of associating with world class organisations to deliver better value to its customers and all other stakeholders. The joint venture leverages both partners’ respective brands and will enhance each party’s distribution strength. Zee will continue to explore other strategic co-operation and investment opportunities with AOL Time Warner.”

“This alliance, the first of its kind for Turner in Asia is a ground-breaking step for us in India. Partnering with Zee, India’s premier broadcast group, means that together we can offer an unparalleled blend of international and local channels to viewers,” said Steve Marcopoto, president & managing director of Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific Inc. “This new venture also underscores our commitment to investing and participating in the growth and future development of the country’s cable and satellite industry,” he said.

A number of initiatives in cross-promotions, programming and distribution arrangements are under consideration in line with the intent of the two companies to derive maximum value from this partnership.

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