Full text of Star Group's official statement on Balaji stake acquisition

MUMBAI: Star Group and Balaji Telefilms Ltd. Balaji announced that Asian Broadcasting FZ-LLC (ABF), a Star affiliate, and Balaji today reached a definitive agreement under which ABF would be issued approximately 13.694 million shares at Rs 90 per share to give it a 21 per cent stake in Balaji by investing a total of Rs 1.23 billion in Balaji. Following completion of the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, ABF expects to be able to hold up to 26 per cent in Balaji following the public offer to the shareholders of Balaji as per the takeover Regulations and/or through warrants that will be issued to it.

The acquisition of Balaji is in line with Star's strategy of increasing content production in India. Balaji is the largest content production company in India, producing shows in various languages including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. Its television productions such as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki regularly top the ratings charts in the country.

Commenting on the deal, Star Group CEO Michelle Guthrie says, "We are thrilled to acquire a stake in Balaji, with whom we enjoy a productive and rewarding relationship. Balaji, under the continuing management and leadership of the Kapoors and with its unique pool of creative talent, has become one of the most important companies in the evolving and increasingly competitive media arena in India. As Star continues to expand its services and offer more choices to viewers, we see enormous strategic benefits from strengthening our relationship with Balaji."

Balaji Telefilms chairman Jeetendra Kapoor says, "We are excited about having Star as an investor in the company. We believe that the investment made in the company would assist in achieving a higher level of growth and in the process generate significant value for all the stakeholders."

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