Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kunal Dasgupta to head Sony Entertainment for 2 more yrs

Kunal Dasgupta, CEO of Sony Entertainment Television (SET), has got a two-year extension as the head of the company. Mr Dasgupta’s contract with SET was scheduled to end in June 2007.

This makes Mr Dasgupta, who stepped into the top slot in 1996, the longest running CEO in the history of any media or entertainment company. While speculation was rife that Mr Dasgupta’s term at SET would end, the two-year extension gains importance in the light of SET’s IPO plans.

The SET India board has appointed Manjit Singh as chairman, replacing Michael Grindon, president of Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI), who will continue as a board member. Mr Grindon has chaired the board since SPTI and its JV partners launched SET India in 1995 with one channel, Sony Entertainment Television.

As non-executive chairman, Mr Singh’s mandate includes managing board affairs and working with the SET India management to refine the company’s strategic growth plan. Under Mr Dasgupta’s leadership, SET grew from just one channel to four.

A source revealed that both Mr Dasgupta and Mr Singh will take priority in looking at public listing soon. The company is awaiting valuations from Kotak, JM Morgan Stanley and UBS who are believed to be appointed as lead managers for the proposed issue.

The listing is aimed at aiding SET’s Indian promoters who have been looking at an exit option for a while. The combined shareholding of the promoters is 32%. The Indian promoters include the Singapore-based banker Rakesh Agarwal, Shemaroo Films MD Raman Maroo, World Media group director Sudesh Iyer, MobiApps Holding’s Jayesh Parekh and actor Jackie Shroff.

No comments: