Hong Kong based NewQuest picks up controlling interest in Cosmos-Maya

Economic Times | 28th June, 2021

NewQuest Capital Partners, the Hong Kong-based private equity firm backed by TPG, has acquired a controlling interest in Indian animation production company Cosmos-Maya.

The transaction values Cosmos-Maya at over $90 million, two people with direct knowledge of the deal said.

NewQuest has bought out Emerald Media’s stake in the company.

KKR-backed Emerald Media, which had acquired the stake in January 2018, has exited with an estimated return of 3-4x on its initial investment.

Cosmos-Maya has been one of the “most dynamic” companies in this segment with a “remarkable growth trajectory”, said Amit Gupta, partner and head of India and Southeast Asia at NewQuest.

“With a portfolio of over 20 IPS and a highly talented team, we strongly believe that Cosmos-Maya is exceptionally well placed to consolidate its leadership position in the segment,” Gupta added.

NewQuest, a dedicated secondary private equity platform, has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Mumbai. It currently manages four funds with capital commitments of over $2.4 billion.

Founded 25 years ago by Indian filmmakers Ketan Mehta and Deepa Sahi, Cosmos-Maya is a Singapore and India-based animation company that produces 2D and 3D animated content. It owns popular IPs like ‘Motu Patlu’, ‘Selfie with Bajrangi’, ‘Dabangg’ and has existing deals with local and global broadcasters and OTT players in Asia.

“The partnership with Emerald Media heralded a strong growth era for us. I am very happy that we are now getting a partner in NewQuest,” said Mehta. “The partnership marks yet another important chapter in the global journey of our studio, which is poised for accelerated growth.”

GCA acted as exclusive financial advisor to Cosmos-Maya and its shareholders, while SNG & Partners and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas were the legal advisors.

EY and BDO acted as due diligence and transaction tax advisors.

“Emerald Media has leveraged our industry expertise and the strength of our platform to help the company establish a solid foundation to expand its footprint in India and across the globe,” said Rajesh Kamat, managing director, Emerald Media.

Cosmos-Maya presently has 18 shows on air and 10 under production, including four finished European co-production series and an international animation feature film, ‘Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.

“Last 6 years have been a dream run for us where we have given exits to angel investors and Emerald Media. Now, NewQuest has come at the right time when this sector is going to see massive growth with the right tailwinds,” Anish Mehta, CEO, Cosoms-Maya told ET.