Shibasish Sarkar’s New Jersey registered special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) International Media Acquisition Corp. (IMAC), of which he is chair and CEO, is acquiring India’s Reliance Entertainment Studios and Risee Entertainment.

A filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) on Oct. 22 reveals that the deal for the two companies is in the form of a total of $102 million in cash and $38 million in investment, spread over four tranches.

Sarkar was formerly CEO of Reliance Entertainment, which recently backed “Vikram Vedha,” starring Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan and “Goodbye,” featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Rashmika Mandanna, both of which underperformed at the box office. Coming up for Reliance Entertainment is “Cirkus,” starring Ranveer Singh.

IMAC, set up to target the Indian media industry, raised more than $200 million through an IPO on the NASDAQ exchange in 2021. It also attracted a galaxy of Indian entertainment industry heavyweights as backers.

IMAC’s management team also includes executive director Sanjay Wadhwa, managing partner of AP International Group, one of the biggest Tamil-language IP owners and former Disney India head of studio finance Vishwas Joshi as CFO. Independent directors include former co-head of CAA’s global client strategy department David Taghioff, who is now CEO of film funder Library Pictures International; and producer Deepak Nayar (“Greenland”).

SPACs, often described as ‘blank check companies,’ have emerged as popular vehicles for raising speculative finance and allowing privately-owned companies and start-ups to obtain share listings. Without a track record of their own, and without meaningful business operations, SPACs rely on the financial muscle of their bankers and the reputations of their founders to pull off their first moves.

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