AION Capital Partners (the ‘AION Fund’) have agreed to acquire a majority interest in PlanetCast Media Services (formerly Essel Shyam Communications) from shareholders including affiliates of the Essel Group, the Shyam Group, and private equity firm Kubera Partners. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The AION Fund is an India-focused fund established by an affiliate of Apollo together with ICICI Venture Funds Management Company. The AION Fund, with approximately USD 825 million in committed capital, is currently one of the largest private equity funds in India.
Founded in 1996, PlanetCast is a professionally managed, market-leading provider of technology-led managed services to the broadcasting industry in India and neighboring countries, with a rapidly growing footprint across Southeast Asia. PlanetCast provides comprehensive, customized solutions across content management operations (including storage, enrichment, and automated play-out) and distribution (including satellite broadcasting, digital streaming, and cloud distribution). Following the acquisition by the AION Fund, PlanetCast will continue to be led by the current management team.
“We are excited for the AION Fund to acquire PlanetCast,” said Utsav Baijal, Partner at the AION Fund. “We believe PlanetCast is a market leading franchise that delivers best-in-class digital media solutions to its customers. We look forward to working with PlanetCast’s talented and dedicated team to continue the business’ strong heritage of innovation and customer satisfaction.”
Jawahar Goel, Promoter of PlanetCast said, “We are pleased to have sponsored PlanetCast during this period of significant growth and transformation. PlanetCast’s foundation as a leader in the broadcasting services industry positions the company well for its new ownership under the AION Fund.”
This represents the second transaction the affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (‘Apollo’) have done with the Essel Group, having invested USD 100 million in DishTV in 2009, and having successfully exited that investment in 2015.
MN Vyas, Executive director of PlanetCast said, “We are grateful to our existing shareholders for all the support and guidance to date, and look forward to our relationship with the AION Fund.”
Executive Director Lalit Jain added: “We believe that under the new leadership, PlanetCast can build on its industry leadership position and invest in emerging technologies to become the leading service provider to both the traditional and digital media economy.”