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India's Pentamedia Buys 51% Of Film Roman

Chennai, India-based Pentamedia Graphics, Ltd., formerly known as Pentafour Software and Exports, Ltd., and Film Roman, Inc. have announced a letter of intent pursuant to which Pentamedia will purchase a 51% stake in Film Roman. The deal was a US$15 million cash deal, which is aimed to close by January after regulatory and board approvals. In regards to the deal, Film Roman CEO and president John Hyde told AWN, "I think it allows us to execute our very specific five-year plan. It allows us to greatly increase the production of animation in non-network areas for syndication, co-productions and co-ventures, where before we couldn't because we didn't have the financing available to us. With a co-production and co-financing partner, now we are in a position we can develop more for those markets." Film Roman will continue to operate as it has in the past with Pentamedia adding two new members to the board. In regards to its current outsourcing relationships, Hyde said, "On shows that we have currently outsourced that won't change at all. SIMPSONS, KING OF THE HILL, OBLONGS and X-MEN will still stay with the sub-contracting companies that we traditionally use. As we go forward in the future obviously we would prefer to do it with our sister company subject both to quality and price considerations." Pentamedia has digital studios throughout India, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada. "Film Roman is best known throughout the world as a leading provider of television animation," said Dr. V. Chandrasekaran, chairman and CEO of Pentamedia, "Along with their current production and development slate of live-action television and major motion pictures, the alliance firmly establishes Pentamedia's U.S. beachhead and presence. With the talented and accomplished John Hyde at the helm, I know that both organizations will meld effectively to further build both global brands. The winners will be audiences worldwide and both companies' shareholders." Pentamedia, with revenues over $100 million, is a public company in India, the U.K. and Luxembourg, that specializes in animation, special effects and Internet broadcasting. The company owns a 3% share in online media company, Stan Lee Media, and has feature film production deals in the works with visual effects house, Digital Domain. Pentamedia Graphics, Ltd. was formerly named Pentafour Software and Exports, Ltd., the first publicly traded Indian software company. Last year it spun off its Business Software Segment to a sister company, PentaSoft Technologies, Ltd.

Read Animation World Magazine's article about Pentamedia's SINBAD production, which uses 3D animation and motion-capture.

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