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Adlabs Films finds Synergy in equity deal

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MUMBAI: The Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG)-backed Adlabs Films is set to formally make a foray into the television business.

According to capital market sources, Adlabs Films is poised to pick up a sizeable equity stake in Siddharth and Anita Basu's production house Synergy Communications Pvt Ltd.

Sources close to the development, however, said that it is still not clear whether the stake being picked up is 51 per cent or higher.

While Adlabs expressed ignorance of the deal when contacted by Indiantelevision.com, Synergy Communications refused to entertain any query on the issue.

However, market sources said that a valuation of Synergy Communications has been pegged between Rs 470 million to Rs 500 million.

The scrip of Adlabs Films Ltd closed on 6 September at Rs 332.10 after opening at Rs 332 on Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The scrip reached an intra-day high of Rs 337.50, probably riding on the information of its radio division slated to roll-out FM operations in about four to six weeks time.

It must be reiterated here that Adlabs Films CMD Manmohan Shetty had earlier confirmed to Indiantelevision.com that the company was looking at taking a controlling equity stake in a production house.

Though Shetty had refused to divulge any names at that time, he had admitted, "All that I can say is that it (the targeted production house) is not a listed company and produces three to four shows with a good balance sheet."

Adlabs has been funding a few TV production companies and has chalked out eight projects with various producers who will be making programmes for TV channels.

Synergy Communications, producers of Kaun Banega Crorepati or KBC (an Indian version of the popular western game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire), is presently working on Jhalak Dikhla Jaa (a local adaption of Dancing With The Stars) for Sony.

KBC, hosted by Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan, first started airing in 2000 on Star Plus and created such a national hysteria that it changed the fortunes of Star India and put it in a leadership position that’s still being maintained.

Synergy was started by ace quizmaster Basu and his wife after the gentleman became a household name in India by hosting the very popular Quiz Time on Doordarshan in the pre-cable television days.

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