Balaji Telefilms will raise 150 crore by issuing preference shares to global investors to launch and expand its digital media unit. The company will issue 1.07 crore shares at 140 each to Atyant Capital India Fund – I, Vanderbilt University, GHI LTP Ltd., GHI HSP Ltd., and GHI ERP Ltd.
The company's digital content business is housed under ALT Digital Media Entertainment Ltd. The unit will operate an over-the-top (OTT) platform that will offer subscription-based video-on-demand services. It was floated in August 2015 with an aim to churn out original shows for web and mobile users. Balaji Telefilms, which produces television shows and movies, is among a host of companies that are launching OTT video platforms to tap into the rising demand in a country where more people than ever before are buying smartphones and accessing the Internet.
Balaji's ALT Digital is aimed to create differentiated, original digital content for mobile devices, web, smart TVs, and game stations. The digital content business will be the next growth driver for the company. Balaji has hired executives from Sony and Viacom18 to lead its digital content unit. In December, 2016, it appointed former Sony Entertainment Television executive Nachiket Pantvaidya as the CEO of ALT Digital. In January, 2017, it named Ekalavya Bhattacharya, who was earlier with Viacom18, the unit's chief strategy officer.The company asserts that the stake of its promoters will fall to 40.6 percent after the share issue. The promoters held 47.29 per cent of the company at the end of December,2016 according to stock-exchange data.