UTV acquires post production, recording studio

MUMBAI: Software production company UTV has acquired a post production and sound recording studio Western Outdoor Advertising.

The company will be merged with UTV's United Studio division and will be called USL-WOA. This represents the first acquisition in the post production segment in the Indian media sector.

Reports indicate that Western Outdoor's assets amount to Rs 250 million while USL-WOA's will be worth around Rs 600 million. The combine is expected to garner 60 per cent of Mumbai's business which translates into one billion rupees. UTV's promoter Ronnie Screwvala has been quoted as saying that the initiative aims at providing superior service in the form of creative solutions to customers.

UTV is looking at expanding its business in the area of 3D animation for television content, creating special effects for films and sound recording.

The company is also looking to grow its international revenues in the fields of animation and dubbing. As part of the deal, Western Outdoor will get one per cent stake in UTV. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp holds a 15 per cent stake in UTV.

Another report in The Economic Times indicates that UTV is also looking to spread its wings by launching four films in the year 2002-2003. One of them stars Val Kilmer last seen in The Salton Sea' and the budget is estimated at 10 million dollars. The period love story set in India is a co-production with LA based Madira Films. Also in the pipeline is a Shah Rukh Khan film being produced in association with SRK Films, expected to be completed within 15 months. UTV is also said to be planning a solo Bollywood venture which will be directed by Samir Karnik who cut his teeth in the ad film world.

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