DSA Summit: KKR-backed Emerald Media in process of exiting first set of assets

Emerald Media MD Rajesh Kamat
Rajesh Kamat, Managing Director, Emerald Media

Emerald Media – a pan-Asian media platform established by private equity firm KKR to focus on early to mid-level assets –  is in the process of exiting its first set of assets, said Rajesh Kamat, the firm’s managing director.

The PE major has committed up to $300 million from its KKR Asian Fund II toward the platform.

“There is some interest from financial investors as well who are wanting to swap our stake. It depends on how much growth is left in the asset, and whether the assets really make sense to strategics (investors),” Kamat said, on exits, at the at Asia PE-VC Summit 2017, DEALSTREETASIA’s flagship annual conference in Singapore on Thursday.

Talking about the overall exit scenario, he said, “the ticket sizes and the stage at which we get in, we typically see exits coming in from strategics (strategic sales). So, we will also choose these markets when we believe that the global strategics are three years away from wanting to enter the market. So, it’s a good point for us to enter the market, be a quasi-strategic, help them grow and eventually sell out to a strategic.”

On whether IPO was an exciting exit option, Kamat said, “Very rarely does it happen in media assets but definitely depending on the ticket sizes of the deal and business we get in that’s an option.”

On secondary transactions, Kamat opined, “Private equity people swap positions depending on the time they have spent in being with a company. We have also done a couple of secondary transactions buying out either VCs or other investors.”

Emerald Media primarily focuses on providing growth capital to media, entertainment and digital media companies and acquires control or significant minority positions in growing public and private media companies. The platform invests approximately $15-75 million per transaction.

In December last year, Emerald Media led a combination of primary and secondary $35 million Series D round in Amagi Media Labs, which  also saw participation from Premji Invest.