Sahara calls off deal to acquire stake in Adlabs

MUMBAI: Sahara Media and Entertainment has called off the deal to acquire a substantial minority stake in Adlabs Films' wholly owned subsidiary Entertainment One.

"We have not gone ahead with the deal. We called it off last week," says a senior official in Sahara.

Adlabs chairman and managing director Manmohan Shetty also confirmed that the deal was off. "We had offered a 25 per cent stake in Entertainment One for a specific amount. We were supposed to sign but there has been no response from Sahara," he says. He declined to disclose the valuation of the deal.

Entertainment One has produced movies like Gangaajal. Sahara had evinced interest in the company as it wanted to tie up with various movie production houses.

The initial offer from Adlabs was for a 25 per cent stake in Entertainment One, says a senior official in Sahara. This was later revised to 33 per cent. "But we felt it did not make business sense for us and decided to call it off last week," he adds.

The deal had run into rough weather after Entertainment One had part-funded 1857: The Rising, a mega movie project. Subrato Roy's media conglomerate had disassociated itself from the project after noted actress and "Sahara council director" Aishwarya Rai was dropped from the film. Adlabs then agreed for a fresh valuation, as the proposed deal would exclude The Rising.

Entertainment One has two movies on the floors and has lined up three more. The average budget of each movie is Rs 7-8 crore (70-80 million)," says Shetty. The company plans to be involved in five movies a year.

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