KKR partners with CA Media; to invest $300 m in Asian M&E sector

MUMBAI:  Media and entertainment entrepreneurs in Asia can look forward to another potential investor in their initiatives, courtesy Emerald Media. Emerald is a new media investment vehicle which has been set up by global investment film KKR and the Chernin Group - promoted by former News Corp top boss Peter Chernin.  KKR has committed up to $300 million to the Emerald Media platform from its KKR Asian Fund II and The Chernin Group will join as a minority co-investor.

KKR has also acquired a significant, minority stake in CA Media, the existing Asian media portfolio of The Chernin Group.

Industry veterans Rajesh Kamat and Paul Aiello, who have so far been managing CA Media, will jointly head Emerald Media and will be joined by an experienced team of operating executives. Emerald Media will have offices in Mumbai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. CA Media, which has assets in India (Endemol Shine India, Graphic India, Fluence, and Only Much Louder) and in Indonesia in its portfolio, will continue to be headed by Kamat and Aiello.

The duo together has more than 30 years of experience in the media and entertainment industries in Asia. They bring a unique blend of operational and investment acumen to their business approach. Mr. Aiello is the current Group CEO of CA Media, the former CEO of News Corp.’s Star TV Asia, and former Head of TMT investment banking at Morgan Stanley Asia. . Kamat is currently the Group COO of CA Media and was formerly COO of Viacom18 Group and CEO of Colors.

Emerald Media will focus primarily on providing growth capital ranging from US$15 million-US$75 million for both control and significant minority positions to media, entertainment, and digital media businesses in Asia.

Joseph Y. Bae, Member of KKR & Managing Partner of KKR Asia, said, “The growing middle class in the region is using its discretionary income on Internet connectivity, but the industry itself is fragmented. Investing behind proven leaders in industries with high growth potential and partnering with them to grow their business is a cornerstone of KKR’s Asia strategy. We look forward to working with experienced media leaders Rajesh and Paul in this dynamic sector.”

Sanjay Nayar, Member of KKR & CEO of KKR India, added, “The media, entertainment and digital media segment across Asia especially in India enjoys attractive macro fundamentals, mirroring the trajectory of the region’s consumer sector. This is a fragmented industry, and we are excited to work with industry veterans to identify the next generation of media and entertainment companies we can partner with and support.”

Peter Chernin, Chairman and CEO of The Chernin Group, noted: “This partnership provides TCG and its fellow investors in CA Media with a unique opportunity to continue to work with a best in class management team and leading global investors at KKR in Asia.”

“The media and entertainment sector is on the cusp of a strong growth phase—driven by media convergence, an attractive investment environment, and rising discretionary spends. With the building blocks for growth in place, there is a significant opportunity to create a diversified portfolio of assets in this space, building on our accomplishments and ongoing work with CA Media and The Chernin Group,” said Rajesh Kamat.

Paul Aiello further added, “With the Asia media industry experiencing rapid and transformational changes driven by digitization and growing internet and mobile penetration, Emerald Media will invest across mediums, demographics, and revenue models to continue driving such transformation.”

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