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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     18 October  2011

Indonesia welcomes media investment

Saban Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, is buying 5 percent of Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra for Rp 692.3 billion ($78.2 million).

The investment firm, which specializes in media, entertainment and communications, can also purchase an additional 2.5 percent in Media Nusantara Citra (MNC), which is controlled by Global Mediacom, the country’s largest media company.

“We are strong believers in the growth prospects of the Indonesian economy, its positive consumer demographic trends and the growth of its media and content industries,” Haim Saban, the chairman and chief executive of Saban Capital, said in a statement.

Saban Capital will acquire 692.3 million MNC shares, equivalent to 5 percent of MNC’s total outstanding shares, at Rp 1,000 per share, though it can also purchase an additional 346 million shares within 27 months.

Both sides are expected to complete the transaction by the middle of November, with Saban Capital working through its affiliate, Indonesia Media Partners. UBS Securities will advise Saban Capital in the transaction, while Morgan Stanley will advise MNC, which is led by president director Hary Tanoesoedibjo.

MNC is an integrated media company in Indonesia that runs three national free-to-air television networks — RCTI, MNC TV and Global TV — with nearly 40 percent audience share, according to Nielsen research. It also owns a newspaper, a tabloid, a magazine, radio networks, online media, an advertising agency and a talent management.

On a subscription basis, Global Mediacom owns MNC Sky Vision, one of the country’s largest pay-TV operators, through the brand services Indovision and Top TV.

Saban Capital was established in 2001 by Haim Saban, who was the founder of Fox Family Worldwide, which he owned in equal partnership with News Corporation until its sale to the Walt Disney Company in October 2001. Saban achieved great success from the hit children’s TV series “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” and according to Forbes magazine, he ranked 287th among the world’s richest people in 2010.

His company’s acquisition of MNC shares was a positive move for both sides of the deal, said equity analyst Reza Priyambadha of Indosurya Asset Management.

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