Eros to buy stake in Anytime for Asia Pacific VoD distribution

MUMBAI: Eros International Plc, the company that owns, creates and globally distributes Bollywood content, is in the process of investing up to £2.1 million (Rs 178 million) for a minority stake in Singapore-based Anytime Pte Ltd.

As part of the deal, Eros-branded Bollywood video-on-demand (VoD) service showcasing its library of over 1300 titles will be launched in the 14 Asia Pacific countries where Anytime service has a license to operate. Anytime, one of Asia's leading supplier of VoD Hollywood entertainment, has shareholders which include CPE Holdings Inc. (Sony), Fox Media Services Inc, Intel Capital, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc, YTC Group (a Singapore based multinational conglomerate), the Macquarie Bank Group and Coote/Hayes Productions LLC (a U.S.-based TV and film production company).

The agreement also provides for the formation of a joint venture that will be majority owned by Eros to distribute Hollywood movies on digital platforms throughout India. "The JV will provide fully programmed and customized premium Hollywood content services to local service providers as well as to consumers over the open internet," Eros said in a statement.

The deal, which will give Eros a seat on Anytime's board, is, however, subject to final due diligence and agreement of full terms. Said Eros International CMD Kishore Lulla, “Anytime’s Hollywood digital entertainment services, world-class technical programming and marketing expertise complement Eros’ strategic vision for expanding choice for consumers in India. Working with Anytime will help us further expand the reach of our extensive Bollywood film library.”

Added Anytime president and CEO Craig Zimbulis, "We are excited about the tremendous value this partnership with Eros International will bring to our shareholders and consumers by expanding ANYTIME’s Hollywood on demand entertainment to a massive Indian market and taking Eros’ premium Bollywood content on VOD to the Asia Pacific region."

Anytime is the leading VoD channel over IPTV, broadband and digital cable networks in Asia and the Pacific. With four of Hollywood's major studios and Intel as its shareholders, Anytime has an extensive content of current and library titles available on demand.

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