AZB JSA and Covington advise Disney to buy out UTV promoters delist UTV
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AZB JSA and Covington advise Disney to buy out UTV promoters delist UTV

Bar & Bench

US media giant Walt Disney plans to buy out shares held by public shareholders and original promoters of UTV Software Communications and delist the company. The deal is valued at around Rs. 2,000 crore (approximately $450 million). The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) Pte Ltd, which currently holds 50.44 percent stake in UTV Software, has indicated a floor price of Rs. 1,000 per share.

Disney is acquiring the 20 percent stake held by UTV promoters which includes Rohinton (Ronnie) Screwvala, Unilazer Exports and Management Consultants Ltd, Unilazer and Zarina Mehta.

AZB & Partners advised UTV Promoters with a team led by Partner Shuva Mandal along with Associate Archana Rajaram.

J. Sagar Associates advised Disney on the Indian side of the transaction with a team led by Partners Somasekhar Sundaresan and Vikram Raghani.

Covington & Burling advised Disney on the international aspect of the transaction with a team led by Partner Ralph C. Voltmer.

According to VCCircle, Disney needs to acquire a minimum of 90 percent, the minimum threshold required for delisting a company from the stock exchange. This means Walt Disney will need to buy at least 20 per cent stake from public shareholders to delist the firm. Some of the institutional shareholders in UTV Software include Somerset India Fund and the Blackstone Group’s India Fund Inc.

Thereafter, Ronnie Screwvala will cease to be an employee of UTV Software and will become the managing director of The Walt Disney Company India Pvt Ltd, overseeing all Disney-owned firms in India, including UTV Software.

UTV operates in five verticals — broadcasting, games, motion pictures, digital content and television content.

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