KKR-backed Emerald Media takes controlling stake in Indian animation studio Cosmos-Maya

Rajesh Kamat in conversation with Marcus Brauchli at DEALSTREETASIA's Asia PE-VC Summit 2017 in Singapore

Private equity firm KKR-backed Asian investor Emerald Media has picked up a controlling stake in India-based animation production studio firm Cosmos-Maya through a combination of primary and secondary stake acquisition.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cosmos-Maya, that claims to be a market leader in IP-led Indian kid’s animation content, will use the capital from this investment for strategic growth initiatives and creating global IPs to further increase its footprint across the world, an announcement from Emerald Media said on Thursday.

The latest investment comes within two months of Emerald Media having led a $65 million funding in Bangkok-based startup aCommerce that is known to help brands like Samsung and Unilever to sell their products online across Southeast Asia.

Among its other investments include OTT video platforms for South Asian content YuppTV and India’s targeted-TV advertisement solutions firm Amagi Media Labs.

Emerald Media invests in fast-growing media, entertainment, consumer tech and B2B industries across Asia for which KKR had committed up to $300 million from its KKR Asian Fund II.

“Cosmos-Maya has created and owns the content for some of the most popular kids’ shows and hence has its finger on the pulse of a very captive and influential audience. With the company now focused on the development of content, that crosses geographies, it is poised for growth on a global stage — not to mention the added opportunity of brand expansion and merchandising for its properties,” said Rajesh Kamat, Managing Director of Emerald Media on the Cosmos-Maya investment.

He further added that the investment is a great addition to Emerald Media’s growing portfolio as it aligns with Emerald’s vision of creating an ecosystem that caters to audiences of all age groups.

The studio is promoted by acclaimed Indian filmmakers Ketan Mehta & Deepa Sahi and over the last five years, the company has produced a record 1000+ half-hour segments of animated content. Its multiple ongoing productions with television and digital platforms, include those with Viacom18, Disney Networks, Turner International, Sony Pictures Network, Discovery Networks, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and ALT Balaji.

“Through the capital infused, the company intends to develop international projects while leveraging the media relationships of Emerald to expand its global footprint,” said co-founder Ketan Mehta also the Managing Director at Cosmos-Maya.

With a sizeable IP bank and strong business associations and the additional capital, Cosmos-Maya is now looking at a global 360-degree approach to grow and monetize its brands through content, media, marketing, distribution, licensing and retail to markets, for kids across the world.

KPMG advised on the funding transaction.

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