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Home / India News / 2007 / January / January 29, 2007
Blackstone to Invest in UEL

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Blackstone to Invest in UEL

New York, United States and Maharashtra, India

Ushodaya Enterprises Limited ("UEL" or the "Company"), a leading Indian Media Company and The Blackstone Group, announced that UEL's Board of Directors have approved an agreement where The Blackstone Group and its affiliates ("Blackstone") are expected to acquire a stake in the Company and have representation on the Board of UEL. As part of this transaction, UEL expects to raise $465 million comprised of a $275 million investment by Blackstone and $190 million of bank financing. No further terms of the deal were disclosed. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval by Foreign Investment Promotion Board and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Kotak Investment Banking acted as the sole investment banking advisor to the transaction.

Mr. Ramoji Rao, Chairman of UEL, stated, "We were impressed with Blackstone's disciplined and highly rigorous investment process and the ability to combine this emphasis with a deep and genuine respect for the promoter's interests and desire to add value. The Company had access to several financing options, including an IPO; but we decided to go with Blackstone because we believe that at this stage of our growth we have an opportunity to create significant value by leveraging Blackstone's outstanding experience and track record in the global media sector."

Mr. Akhil Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Blackstone Advisors India Private Limited, stated, "We believe that the Indian media sector will be a key beneficiary of a secular trend in growth in personal consumption that is driving India's economic expansion which in turn will spur advertising growth. Importantly, we believe that UEL is an ideal platform for Blackstone to play this highly attractive sector in India. Over the last three decades, Mr. Rao has created a unique media company with a dominant newspaper franchise built on editorial integrity and a TV franchise built through deep cultural understanding of the markets and truly regional content. We have been very impressed by UEL's management team and feel privileged that Mr. Rao has chosen Blackstone to be UEL's partner as the Company enters this very important next phase of its growth."

About Ushodaya Enterprises Limited

UEL is a leading Indian media business that owns the third largest newspaper and the fourth largest private television broadcasting network in the country. Eenadu, UEL's newspaper, has maintained over the last 10 years, a readership which is higher than all the other newspapers combined in the state of Andhra Pradesh. UEL's ETV franchise enjoys strong market positions in several of its markets: # 1 ranked TV channels in West Bengal and Orissa, #2 ranked TV channels in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and #1 ranked regional TV channels in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The parent company of UEL, Ramoji Group, owns Ramoji Film City which is Asia's largest studio.

About The Blackstone Group

The Blackstone Group, a global private investment and advisory firm, was founded in 1985. The firm has raised a total of more than $75 billion for alternative asset investing since its formation of which over $30 billion has been for private equity investing. The Private Equity Group has over 60 experienced professionals with broad sector expertise. Blackstone's other core businesses include Private Real Estate Investing, Corporate Debt Investing, Hedge Funds, Mutual Fund Management, Private Placement, Marketable Alternative Asset Management, and Investment Banking Advisory Services. Further information is available at http://www.blackstone.com.

CONTACT: The Blackstone Group: New York: John Ford +1 212 583 5559 ford@blackstone.com or London: Sophia Harrison +44 (0)20 7451 4295 harrison@blackstone.com or Ushodaya Enterprises Limited: Mr. G Srinivas Company Secretary gsrinivas@eenadu.net

Source: Business Wire (Business Wire India)

Press release presented here is sourced from the Source mentioned above and is provided on as-is basis. Please contact the Company / Source directly for any further information in regard to this release. This website will be unable to assist you in regard to the accuracy or correctness of information in this release.

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