The Sanjay Gaikwad led Indian tech-media group Valuable Group has announced the acquisition of MovieBeam. The release claims the acquisition includes all assets, including trademarks and intellectual property rights which its past suitors, including Disney (NYSE: DIS), Intel (NSDQ: INTC) and Cisco (NSDQ: CSCO) amongst others, reportedly spent $200 million in creating.
This continues the crazy nine lives of the doomed movie service Moviebeam: For a background, MovieBeam is a Video on Demand service launched by Disney in 2005 that broadcasted content via a proprietary set-top box and Dotcast technology. Besides integration options with Valuable’s digital cinema unit, UFO Moviez, Valuable also has it’s own proprietary satellite based set-top box solution, titled BOX Networks. The solution shares support for delivery of High Definition, VOD, Pay Per View and Video Recording with the MovieBeam solution. A previous acquisition by Movie Gallery (MG) was reportedly for $10 million, and then MG went into bankruptcy and sold it to London-based Dar Capital. Valuable has bought it from Dar.
Considering MovieBeam had officially announced a cease of operations over a year ago, this will add a last mile play to their existing satellite based digital cinema business as well as access to technology licensed by MovieBeam (Dotcast) for the set-top box solution. Additionally, this also gives UFO Moviez the ability to simultaneously release movies for both the theatrical as well as a VOD platform.
The release quotes Gaikawad stating they have ear-marked an investment of $100 million over the next two years for the re-launch of the service (slated to launch at the end of 2008) in North America, UK and other markets.