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August 2017

ZEEL TO BUY 9X MEDIA


Reports confirm that Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) will buy 9X Media for around ₹ 170 crore.

The deal is attractive on valuation terms as the price is the same as 9X Media's annual sales. According to Ashish Pherwani, Media & Entertainment advisory leader at EY India, TV media sees deals at upwards of 2.5 times annual sales.

Private equity firm New Silk Route (NSR), which owns close to 80% stake in 9X Media, has been hunting for a buyer since 2013. Last year, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) agreed to buy 9X Media for ₹ 220 crore. However, after due diligence, some legacy taxation issues were discovered, which could not be sorted out and the deal was cancelled.

There is a marginal loss in 9X Media's books, which will help ZEEL's tax planning.

ZEEL currently has only 2 music channels - ETC and Zing. The acquisation will add 5 more channels.




9X MEDIA

9X Media runs music channels 9XM and 9X Jalwa in Hindi, 9X Jhakaas in Marathi, 9XO in English and 9X Tashan in Punjabi.

It also has SpotboyE, a digital offering of Bollywood news, gossip, music reviews and other updates. SpotboyE also streams the TV channels of 9X Media.

Flagship channel 9XM plays Bollywood hits, 9X Jalwa focuses on retro music, particularly music from the '90s.

9X Jhakaas was the first Marathi music channel to be launched and is seeing growth with more Marathi movies becoming popular and being produced.


JV CHANNEL

9X Media operates its Punjabi music channel 9X Tashan through a joint venture. Sandeep Bansal, who started his career as a cable TV operator, has a 34% stake in the JV. With ZEEL taking over the entire business, the JV will get dismantled.

"9X Media has a multi-entity structure. ZEEL will take complete ownership of all the channels," according to a report. n