THE CHERNIN GROUP’S CA MEDIA INVESTS IN GRAPHIC INDIA
Creates Digital Comics and Animation Company Targeted At Indian Youth Audience Liquid Comics Co-Founder, Sharad Devarajan Appointed as CEO of New Company.
MUMBAI, INDIA – January 17, 2013 – CA Media, LP, the Asian investment arm of The Chernin Group, LLC (TCG), today announced that it has acquired a large minority stake in Graphic India, a comic book and animation company focused on creating mythological and superhero characters, comics and stories for the Indian youth market, published across mobile and online platforms.
Launched last year by media entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman as a subsidiary of U.S. comic book company Liquid Comics, Graphic India will now be jointly owned by Liquid Comics and CA Media. Devarajan will be appointed CEO of Graphic India and remain Executive Chairman of Liquid Comics. As part of the transaction, Liquid Comics will contribute one of the world’s largest and highest-quality comic book libraries based on Indian characters to Graphic India. In addition to CA Media’s investment, it will partner with Graphic India to provide industry expertise and create iconic franchises for Graphic’s characters through multiple media within the Indian entertainment ecosystem.
Graphic India will provide a new creative voice to the Indian youth marketplace, a population that is one of the largest and fastest growing demographics in the world, with more than 500 million consumers under the age of 25 and with more than 850 million mobile phone users in the country. Graphic India is uniquely positioned to meet the increasing demand of this connected and sophisticated youth population for multi-platform entertainment content that respects India’s creative traditions and the global ambitions of the Indian people today. Through animated shorts, digital comics, and associated media content, Graphic India will launch mythological and superhero characters and storylines that India’s youth audience can celebrate with pride. Graphic India will enable consumers to experience its growing library of content across a variety of mobile and online devices, both within India and worldwide through its own digital platform as well as through distribution partners.
Rajesh Kamat, CEO of CA Media India, stated: “Following our successful entry into the traditional media space, we are very pleased that Graphic India marks our first investment in the digital space.CA Media’s aim is to create an ecosystem of diversified assets across media, where each asset not only unlocks its own value, but also adds to the rest of the portfolio. Graphic India is a valuable addition to this mix, especially in the youth segment. We look forward to working with the company to create heroes that inspire the next generation of Indian consumers.”
Paul Aiello, CEO of CA Media, added: “CA Media is thrilled to be partnering with the talented Liquid Comics team, headed by Sharad Devarajan. We look forward to building the business with Sharad and his team, an amazingly gifted group of content creators and phenomenal operators.”
“India is home to some of the most creative minds in the world, and we believe that the next Batman, Harry Potter, Pokemon or The Avengers, can come from this country,”commented Graphic India, Co-Founder & CEO, Sharad Devarajan. “At Graphic India, we intend to find, nurture and promote a new generation of creators to transform the world with their stories. The team at The Chernin Group and CA Media bring an unparalleled level of experience in entertainment and we could not imagine a better partner to work with to launch this mission.”
Graphic India intends to launch numerous new projects in the upcoming year showcasing original stories from young breakthrough talent as well as established Indian and global icons. The company has partnered with POW! Entertainment and Stan Lee, the legendary co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, Hulk and The Avengers, to create his first superhero for the Indian market, Chakra The Invincible. The story centers on Mumbai teenager Raju Rai, who develops a technology-enhanced suit that activates the mystical chakras of the body, unleashing newfound abilities and powers. Lee will be collaborating with a team of leading Indian artists and creators to bring the new superhero to animation and comic books.
In addition to numerous new properties in production, Graphic India will release new digital content around the highly acclaimed comic books previously published by Liquid Comics, including:
• Devi, created by preeminent filmmaker Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth; Mr. India; The Golden Age) features the story of an immortal goddess reincarnated as a young woman in the fictional Indian city of Sitapur, charged with using her super-heroic powers to save her city from demons and monsters.
• The Sadhu, created by Gotham Chopra, about a British colonial soldier who becomes trained by the Indian mystics known as Sadhus and uses his newfound abilities for justice and currently being developed as a theatrical live-action film in Hollywood.
• Ramayan 3392AD, a futuristic epic inspired by the classical Ramayana myth and currently being developed as a theatrical live-action film in Hollywood with Mandalay Entertainment.
ABOUT LIQUID COMICS:
Liquid Comics is a digital entertainment company focused on creating cinematic and mythic graphic novel stories with filmmakers, creators and storytellers. The company was founded by entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman and uses the medium of digital graphic novel publishing to develop properties for theatrical live-action films, animation and video games. Liquid Comics has created and is creating original graphic novels with acclaimed filmmakers and talents including John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Grant Morrison, Dave Stewart, Marc Guggenheim, Jonathan Mostow, Edward Burns, Nicolas Cage, John Moore, Wes Craven, Barry Sonnenfeld and others. The company currently has a number of film and television projects in development based on their properties. For more information:www.LiquidComics.com
About The Chernin Group
The Chernin Group, LLC (TCG) is a privately held, independent media holding company founded by Peter Chernin and based in Los Angeles, CA. TCG has built, managed, operated, and invested in businesses in the media, entertainment, and technology sectors around the world since 2010. TCG’s assets include Chernin Entertainment, which produces feature films and television programs; a majority stake in Hong Kong-based CA Media, which builds, manages, and operates media, entertainment, and technology businesses across Asia; and several strategic investments in digital media companies including Pandora, Fullscreen, Base79, MiTú, Tumblr, Flipboard and Scopely. Providence Equity Partners LLC; Qatar Holding LLC; Victor Koo (founder and CEO of Youku) and Chengwei Capital; and other shareholders are strategic partners of and investors in TCG.
About CA Media
Majority-owned by The Chernin Group, CA Media was co-founded by The Chernin Group and Paul Aiello in November 2010 with a mandate to build, manage, and operate media, entertainment, and technology businesses throughout Asia. Based in Hong Kong, CA Media is building a regional footprint primarily focused on India, Indonesia, and China. CA Media has acquired significant stakes and has partnered in the success of Endemol India, a leading television and film production business; Only Much Louder (OML), a music, live events, and youth media company in India; Legend Fighting Championship, a Hong Kong-based mixed martial arts promotion; and most recently Graphic India. CA Media is launching FLUENCE, India’s leading ‘online influencer network’ around celebrities and brands.
The CEO of CA Media, Paul Aiello, was formerly the CEO of News Corporation’s Star TV Asia. Prior to that, he was the Head of TMT investment banking at Morgan Stanley for the Asia region. The CEO of CA Media India, Rajesh Kamat, was formerly COO of Viacom18 Group, CEO of Colors and founded the India operations of Endemol as its Managing Director.