MUMBAI: James Murdoch, younger son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has set up the first office outside the US for his new investment firm, Lupa Systems, in Mumbai. It will be led by his former associate Nitin Kukreja, who said, “James has always been bullish on India. It’s a reaffirmation of this fact that the first office outside New York will be here.”
“It (investment fund) will be a bit diversified for sure. It’s more about the themes that are playing up today,” Kukreja said. “It is early days to say what the size of the team would be. It will be a function of the opportunities that we come across. It will be in themes, where there is an interesting interplay of content and technology going on.”
However, he did not want to reveal the size of the investment corpus. James Murdoch and his siblings, reports suggest, are expected to receive close to $2 billion each from the proceeds of the sale of Fox stock, which the former is expected to invest in his family office. The younger Murdoch and his siblings are beneficiaries of a Trust that owns the 21st Century Fox stock, which the Murdochs divested in favour of Walt Disney & Co in a transaction valued close to $72 billion.
Kukreja is chief executive of IQuest Enterprises, an investment company with a portfolio across healthcare, hospitality, technology and sports. Before this, Kukreja had a 10-year stint at Star India, where his last role was as chief executive of Star Sports. “I have interacted with him (Murdoch) a fair bit during that time,” he said.
“He (James Murdoch) was fairly involved with Star. He oversees that part and the journey that Star has had over the past decade or so. I think that journey is well-known.”
In his earlier role with Star, Kukreja was head of business development, where he was involved with the formulation of a long-term strategy for the company and execution of inorganic growth opportunities.
He laid out the strategic roadmap for Star till 2020 and worked on industry-defining acquisitions of Asianet and ESPN-Star Sports.