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Eros International to acquire controlling stake in Techzone

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MUMBAI:  Eros International Media (Eros) has announced that it has signed a term sheet to acquire a controlling stake in Universal Power Systems, trading by the name Techzone, a mobile value added services (MVAS) provider for telecom operators based in India for an undisclosed sum. 

Established in 1999 by Naveen Bhandari, Techzone is an aggregator, developer and distributor of entertainment content via mobile platforms in India.  Techzone is particularly focused on the Bollywood films and music markets and has significant region-specific content in Tamil and Telugu.  The company has relationships and billing integration with major telecom networks in India to distribute its content and also has its own ‘Mobile Shortcode’ 56060. Techzone makes its content available to end-users via various methods such as caller ring-back tones (CRBT), mobile radio, short message service (SMS), wireless application protocol (WAP) and interactive voice response (IVR). 

Techzone has done an average of 25 million SMS, WAP or IVR transactions per month over the past three years across 12 major telecom operators in India for which it bills the customers directly through its billing platform. This excludes CRBT transactions which are also marketed and distributed by Techzone but billed by the telecom operators directly. In a given month, a single customer may engage in multiple transactions.

“Techzone will be a strong addition to our ErosNow strategy where content meets technology and distribution,” said Eros CEO Jyoti Deshpande.  “With Techzone’s billing integration and distribution in place across major telecom operators and average transaction traffic of over 25 million monthly over the past three years, we expect this deal to complement our existing ErosNow service. With 870 million mobile subscribers (including over 60 million internet enabled smart phones) in India as of year-end 2013, this is an exciting space for us.”

Techzone CEO & managing director Naveen Bhandari said, “This is indeed a proud moment for Techzone to align with a market leader such as Eros. The consumption of content through mobile platforms is on the increase and the timing of this alliance could not have been better.”

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and execution of definitive agreements. 

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