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Chernin establishes Asian investment firm

The Chernin Group and former ProSiebenSat.1 owner KKR have pacted to create an investment fund in Asia.

Investment company KKR has invested US$300 million in Emerald Media, with former New Corp. boss Peter Chernin’s media company partaking in the venture as a minority co-investor.

Further to that, KKR has acquired a “significant, minority stake” in CA Media, which is the Asian arm of The Chernin Group.

CA Media CEO Paul Aiello and group COO Rajesh Kamat will jointly lead Emerald, overseeing a team of “experienced” executives. The company will have offices in Mumbai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Kamat and Aiello will continue to run CA Media, whose Indian investments include Endemol Shine India and comic book animation firm Graphic India.

Aiello is the former CEO of 21st Century Fox-owned Star TV Asia, while Kamat was formerly COO of Viacom18 Group and CEO of the Colors network.

Emerald will focus on investing capital of between US$15 million and US$75 million to both take full and minority control of media, entertainment and digital media businesses.

“The media and entertainment sector is on the cusp of a strong growth phase – driven by media convergence, an attractive investment environment, and rising discretionary spends. With the building blocks for growth in place, there is a significant opportunity to create a diversified portfolio of assets in this space, building on our accomplishments and ongoing work with CA Media and The Chernin Group,” said Kamat.

Majority shareholder KKR sold its stake, which was controlled with fellow private equity firm Permira, in Germany-based broadcast group ProSiebenSat.1 in January last year for US1.7 billion. It also sold its shares in Australia’s Seven West Media in 2013, but still has broadcast assets in the Balkan region.

The media, entertainment and digital media segment across Asia especially in India enjoys attractive macro fundamentals, mirroring the trajectory of the region’s consumer sector,” said Sanjay Nayar, CEO of KKR India. “This is a fragmented industry, and we are excited to work with industry veterans to identify the next generation of media and entertainment companies we can partner with and support.”