CS has learned via multiple sources that Virtual Marketing, the holding company of Hungama, has recently acquired a controlling stake in web video publisher, Nautanki.tv. We had recently asked Sunil Nair, CEO of Nautanki, for his comments on the acquisition, based on news from a reliable source. He stated in an e-mail conversation “For the record I deny that any such funding is happening with anyone.”
A tip received recently adds detail to the story, stating Hungama has acquired 74% stake in Nautanki for Rs 4 crore giving it a valuation of Rs 5.4 crore. A comment in a previous story stated that Nautanki was looking for a Rs 6 crore valuation (where again Nair denied the funding). The tip also states that Hungama (read as Virtual Marketing) is buying Santabanta’s online sales inventory exclusively in a revenue share deal. The reason stated is legalization of the T-series content. Hungama’s exclusive minimum guarantee arrangement with the music industry’s largest player has previously been the focus of slug-fests in the comments. Although, that hasn’t stopped T-series doing deals with the likes of Rediff (NSDQ: REDF) iShare. Considering MSN has parked inventory on BollywoodHungama, would that mean SantaBanta would be represented through the same network? We had recently reported Virtual marketing was about to get a minority investment of Rs 170 crores itself at a valuation of Rs 800 crores.