An investment vehicle backed by global private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) has acquired a controlling stake in Indian animation outfit Cosmos-Maya.
Emerald Media, which was launched by KKR together with The Chernin Group in 2015, has invested in the Mumbai-based producer.
KPMG advised the company on the transaction, financial details of which were not disclosed.
Cosmos-Maya has produced more than 1,000 half-hour episodes of animated content in the past five years and has productions with Viacom18, Disney, Turner, Sony Pictures Networks, Discovery, Netflix and Amazon on its slate.
It is behind the Motu Patlu animation series and has also produced shows such as Shiva, Eena Meena Deeka, Kisna, Vir: The Robot Boy, Guru Aur Bhole, Chacha Bhatija, Tik Tak Tail and Selfie with Bajrangi.
The company is also working on three international coproductions: Captain Cactus, Atchoo! and Help me Ganesha, which are in varying stages of production and development.
Cosmos-Maya’s YouTube channel, WowKidz, has racked up more than two million active subscribers and over two billion cumulative views since its launch in 2016.
Emerald Media, led by industry veterans Rajesh Kamat and Paul Aiello, was given a pot of up to US$300m by KKR to invest in media, entertainment and digital media businesses in Asia in 2015.
Ketan Mehta, founder and MD of Cosmos-Maya, said: “The company will benefit greatly with a partner like Emerald Media, which has a strong understanding of the entertainment, broadcast and OTT space. Through the capital infused, the company intends to develop international projects while leveraging the media relationships of Emerald to expand its global footprint.”
Emerald Media MD Kamat added: “With the company now focused on the development of content that crosses geographies, it is poised for growth on a global stage, not to mention the added opportunity of brand expansion and merchandising for its properties.”