Mumbai: Indian animation major Cosmos-Maya on Monday announced that Hong Kong-based NewQuest Capital Partners (NewQuest) has acquired a majority interest in it from Emerald Media, an investment platform backed by KKR. The company has not disclosed the terms of the transaction, but The Economic Times reported that the deal values the Ketan and Deepa Mehta promoted studio at $90 million.
Having gained significant market share in India, the animation company is aggressively expanding its operations in the western markets producing several successful TV series, shows, and independent feature films for leading platforms in Europe and the US. The company has also become one of the largest providers of animated content to leading edtech players in India and the US.
Said Ketan Mehta: “Cosmos-Maya has had a phenomenal journey of 25 years in animation and has grown by leaps and bounds during this period. The partnership with Emerald Media heralded a strong growth era for us. I am very happy that we are now getting a partner in NewQuest. The partnership marks yet another important chapter in the global journey of our studio, which is poised for accelerated growth."
“Cosmos-Maya has been one of the most dynamic companies in this segment with a remarkable growth trajectory, " said NewQuest partner & head of India & southeast Asia Amit Gupta. "With a portfolio of over 20 IPs and a highly talented team, we strongly believe that Cosmos-Maya is exceptionally well placed to consolidate its leadership position in the segment.”
“We are privileged to have worked closely with Ketan and Anish (Mehta- the current CEO of Cosmos Maya) over the years to support Cosmos-Maya’s journey in becoming a leading animation studio in India and the wider region," said Emerald Media MD Rajesh Kamat. "Emerald Media has leveraged our industry expertise and the strength of our platform to help the company establish a solid foundation to expand its footprint in India and across the globe. Cosmos-Maya has shown a robust growth trajectory on the back of its creative and innovative IPs through the years, and we are confident that the company will continue its success in the future with NewQuest.”
“This is a new and interesting chapter for us as we look at larger markets and newer challenges," said Anish Mehta. "Emerald Media has been a great support in our growth story and now this investment from another great investor like NewQuest is a testament to our market leadership and strong operating performance. We are excited to bring NewQuest on board as we embark on our next growth phase to become a fully integrated, global animation production and distribution company. Their experience, network, and industry knowledge will help supercharge our growth, organically and through strategic acquisitions."
GCA acted as an exclusive financial advisor to Cosmos-Maya and its shareholders. SNG & Partners and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas acted as legal advisors, and EY and BDO acted as due diligence and transaction tax advisors.
The Economic Times reported that Emerald Media's exit gave it a 3X-4X ret return on its investment it made in Cosmos-Maya in 2018. Today the latter is producing anywhere between 18-20 animation shows for local and international broadcast networks; some of which are being co-produced.