The move has come at a time when Shankar, former president of The Walt Disney Asia Pacific and chairman of the Star and Disney India, is in talks with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries (RIL) to pick up a significant minority stake in RIL-controlled TV’18 step-down subsidiary, Viacom18.
On January 27, ET reported that Singapore-headquartered Asia Initiatives, a 51:49 joint venture between Shankar and Murdoch’s private investment company Lupa Systems, is in advanced talks with ViacomCBS and Reliance Industries, to pick up around a 40% stake in Viacom18, the entertainment network owned by TV18 and ViacomCBS.
The talks are part of larger fundraising plans by RIL for Viacom18 as the smallest of the big four broadcasting networks is gearing up to bid for the upcoming media rights of the India Premier League (IPL), the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the bilateral series of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Lupa Systems had earlier said that it would invest in healthcare, edutech, and media.
Nitin Kukreja, MD, Lupa India, remained unavailable for comment till the filing of this report.
Incidentally, last year, Qatar Investment Authority invested in VerSe Innovation, the parent company of DailyHunt, which runs the short video app Josh, in a $100 million round.
VerSe Innovation has also raised money from Lupa Systems.