Saban Buys Stake in Media Nusantara Citra

Saban Capital Group Inc. is paying 692 billion rupiah ($78 million) for a 5% stake in Indonesian media firm PT Media Nusantara Citra, Reuters reported Monday. Saban Capital is controlled by billionaire Haim Saban. Los Angeles-based firm, which owns the Power Rangers franchise, will have an option to buy an additional 346.2 million shares or 2.5% stake in the company over the next 27 months, Reuters wrote.

(Reuters) – Saban Capital Group Inc, a U.S.-based private equity firm controlled by billionaire Haim Saban, bought a 5 percent stake worth 692 billion rupiah ($78 million) in Indonesia’s leading media firm PT Media Nusantara Citra.

It will be the firm’s first investment in the southeast Asia region that has seen increasing interest from investors as they look to make longer-term investments at a time when financial markets are in turmoil over the European debt crisis.

Saban will pay 1,000 rupiah a share, valuing MNC at $1.56 billion, for 692.33 million shares of MNC. It will buy the stake from MNC’s parent company PT Global Mediacom , a holding company owned by media mogul Hary Tanoesoedibjo, MNC said in a statement on Monday.

The Los Angeles-based firm, which owns the Power Rangers franchise, will have an option to buy an additional 346.2 million shares or 2.5 percent stake in the company over the next 27 months, it said.

“We view our investment in MNC as strategically important to the continued expansion of Saban Capital Group’s investment franchise in Asia,” said Adam Chesnoff, president and CEO of Saban, in a statement.

MNC owned the biggest market share in Indonesia’s free to air TV market, as it owns three free-to-air TV stations, including market leader PT Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia.

It also controls several newspapers and magazines and radio networks.

Shares of MNC had closed up 0.9 percent at 1,090 rupiah before the statement about Saban’s interest. The shares have risen 14 percent so far this year, outperforming the Jakarta stock index’s 0.7 percent advance.