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Adlabs takes control of KBC producer

Mumbai, Jan. 22: On a day when Kaun Banega Crorepati resurfaced on television screens with Shah Rukh Khan in the hot seat as the new host of the popular gameshow, there was news behind the scenes: Adlabs Films Ltd — the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company — snapped up the gameshow’s producer, Synergy Communications.

Adlabs completed the process of acquiring a controlling stake in Synergy for an undisclosed sum.

Synergy is a television content company headed by Siddhartha Basu. Following the acquisition, Kaun Banega Crorepati will be a Synergy Adlabs’ production.

Adlabs told the stock exchanges today that the new entity would be called Synergy Adlabs Ltd and subject to regulatory approval.

While the company’s strategy and business operations would be led by Siddhartha, chairman and managing director, the Synergy Adlabs board comprising Siddhartha and Anita Kaul Basu, has been strengthened with the addition of Pooja Shetty, wholetime director — Adlabs Films, Anil Arjun, senior vice-president, Reliance Capital, and Venkat Devarajan, CFO, Adlabs Films.

Adlabs did not reveal the consideration paid as it said the valuation was the subject of confidentiality provisions.

Synergy Adlabs is envisaged to contribute sizeable revenues to the overall revenue pie of Adlabs Films by March 2008. The intention is to enhance Synergy’s production operations and scale up content to include high-quality popular fiction, youth-based shows, non-fiction content (including reality and lifestyle shows) and international content.

Synergy Communications has done over 30 televised series and produced over 2,000 hours of content.

Adlabs had signed a letter of intent for the acquisition of Synergy last September. The move marked Adlabs’ first serious foray into television. Adlabs had then said its investment in the company would be used to enhance Synergy’s financial strength and production operations and widen its offering to include popular fiction and non-fiction content apart from reality and lifestyle shows.

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