International Media Acquisition Corp, the specialist acquisitions firm launched last year by Indian media magnate Shibasish Sarkar, is acquiring Risee Entertainment and Reliance Entertainment Studios.
The deal for the two companies will total $102 million in cash and $38 million in investment, and will reunite former Reliance Entertainment CEO Sarkar with several former colleagues he left behind when he created the SPAC. IMAQ was launched on the Nasdaq last year with the backing of several Indian entertainment personalities and media companies.
According to an SEC filing earlier this month, IMAQ has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the combined company Risee and Reliance Studios. The money will be split into four tranches with a combined value of $102 million, with an additional $38 million coming from equity injections.
Sarkar will become CEO of the company resulting from the agreement, with a board of directors of five directors: three appointed by IMAQ and two from the combined Risee and/or Reliance studios.
SPACs are actually companies that raise capital just to buy existing companies and are considered an alternative to a traditional IPO.
IMAQ raised $230 million in its initial offering to Nasdaq and Sarkar later told Deadline he wanted the company to be “the biggest content creation company in India”, working in film and TV production, animation and exhibition. He also hoped to take a “meaningful position” in a streamer.
Asked in December about IMAQ’s acquisition of Reliance’s film and television business, Sarkar replied: “It’s not fair to comment. It is a publicly traded company,” but added, “All types of available opportunities will be explored.
Reliance is one of India’s largest film, television and animation companies. Recent theatrical releases include Vikram Veda and Codename Tirangawhile the most notable TV shows include the popular Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Kaun Banega Crorepati, India has talent and Bose: dead/alive. Risee Entertainment is a private company which was launched in 2018 in Mumbai.