Ketan Mehta eyeing USD 10-mn from PE players for Maya Digital

Mumbai, Feb 13 (PTI) Film-maker Ketan Mehta, who hasbranched out into animation and started his own company--MayaDigital Studios--is in talks to raise USD 10-million or aboutRs 50-crore from private equity players to fund expansion.

"We want to expand in the existing verticals of VFX andcomputer animation and also expand into newer alliedverticals which will need money," Mehta told PTI here.

Presently, he is in an advanced stage of talks withprivate equity players to raise up to USD 10-million and willbe parting with a minority stake in his company, he said.

The deal is expected to be sealed by end-March 2011 buthe refused to speak on the firm''s valuation part. Maya wasfounded in 1996, and last year, it split into two--theeducation division, which was taken over by Aptech; and thestudio business, which Mehta and his wife Deepa Sahi retained.

When asked about the newer verticals he was thinking ofexpanding into, Mehta said dedicated wings for conversion of2D content into 3D and gaming will be the broad areas Mayawould be looking at.

With the private equity placement, the firm''s totalemployee strength will double to 400, he said, adding plansare already afoot to have a new studio in Goa and one inMumbai''s film city.

A private equity placement is the second stage for ropingin investors by Maya and this comes within days ofSubhash Ghai-led Mukta Arts picking-up a strategic stake inthe company.

"The strategic sale to Mukta was the first step and wewill complete the process with the private equity money comingin," Mehta said, adding presently Maya''s equity is held byhis wife Deepa Sahi, industry expert Frank Foster who is onthe Board, Mukta Arts and himself.

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