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Apple selling content library biz

While looking at a reverse merger, Eros Group, the largest movie producer in India, is in talks with Apple, which is selling its entire content library of films and music for around $1 billion. A deal may also include digital OTT (over-the-top) platform Eros Now. An acquisition by Apple would turn the world’s most valuable public company into a serious contender in the video streaming market in India, where Apple TV has made little impression compared with Amazon, Netflix and homegrown rivals. Parallel discussions with Amazon and Netflix have also gathered momentum as the Kishore Lulla-led company is planning a restructuring exercise that’s likely to result in a reverse merger of its NYSE-listed parent Eros International Plc with locally listed arm Eros International Media by the end of this financial year to create a single listed firm. Allegations of corporate miss-governance, non-transparent related party transactions, financial malpractices and fraud have rattled investors since 2015. The company has always denied any irregularities. Eros International, which owns about 73% of Eros India, manages the overseas distribution of the films and houses Eros Now. Eros India is the main operating entity, primarily responsible for content creation. Eros India’s library of over 3,000 Indian films that include Bollywood and regional hits is the largest in the country and would give an acquirer a clear advantage as the war over music and video streaming intensifies among standalone service providers, media and entertainment conglomerates, telcos and digital OTT companies. Eros Now has rights to over 10,000 films, around half in perpetuity, in Hindi and regional languages from Eros’s internal library as well as third-party aggregated content. It has close to 2.9 million paid subscribers and over 100 million registered subscribers as of June 30.

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