— Anil Ambani is one busy man. Dreamworks SKG is near an agreement tbe funded by Reliance ADAG reports Bloomberg. As with an as yet un-finalized deal, the reports are conflicting. While in one place it states the funding is to the tune of $550 million, a sentence later it states the studio will borrow $400 million and no additional outside equity will be required. This will help Dreamworks with the cash buffer needed to exit Viacom (NYSE: VIA) who had bought the studio for $1.6 billion in 2006.
— Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), has launched its private equity advisory arm Reliance Equity Advisors Ltd (REAL), which will advise its soon to be set up $1-billion private equity fund. ET reports the firm has received regulatory approval for an initial corpus of $1 billion, of which ADAG has contributed around $200 million and the rest will be raised from two linked funds, based out of India and Mauritius respectively.
REAL has put in place a 15 people advisory team members of which have been hired from Actis LLP, ICICI Ventures and Sequioa Capital. As per Bloomberg, the team is being led by ADAG CFO Ramesh Venkat, who will be the Director of REAL, besides his duties as CFO of the group. REAL will invest in emerging sectors such as services, logistics, realty, pharma, media firms and Indian companies investing overseas with investment size ranging from $75 million to $100 million. The board of REAL will comprise of Venkat, Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, vice chairman of Reliance Capital, and chartered accountant Rajendra Chitale. REAL will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Capital and will be an advisory private equity player which will offer a range of services. The report added that the firm has already started talking to investors and expects to close the fund in the next few months.
ADAG also has a private investment advisory business called Reliance Technology Ventures Pvt Ltd, headed by ex-IBM executive Harshal Shah. It has invested in Sequans Communications, a France and US based company that provides WiMax chips. Last year, along with Sequoia Capital, RTVL invested in US-based Stoke Inc. It also invested $10 million in E-Band Communications Corporation. More here.
— Big TV, Reliance ADAG’s to-be launched DTH service has bagged the official DTH partnership rights for the IPL for Rs 137 crore ($31.16 million) for four years. According to BS, the only other contender was Airtel’s rival DTH service, Digital TV, which had put in a bid of $30.28 million (Rs 127 crore) for the same term. This doesn’t mean Big will hold rights for DTH, the telecast rights are with the World Sport Group, for which they had paid $1 Billion, for 10 years. Big TV will be the official DTH sponsor, just like Pepsi is the official beverage and Kingfisher, the official airline.