Scatmag.com



Register here for a free copy of SATELLITE & CABLE TV Magazine, SMS & email Update




November 2017

ZEEL BUYS 9X & INX MEDIA



Flush with $385 million from the sale of its loss making TEN Sports business to Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), Punit Goenka-led Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) is reinvesting this money into other TV channels.

Infact, ZEEL has been on an acquisition spree even before the TEN Sports sale. In November 2016, it had acquired Reliance Broadcast Networks Ltd (RBNL) for a consideration of ₹ 298.4 crore. The deal gave ZEEL ownership of two entertainment channels, Big Magic and Big Ganga, and four additional TV channel licenses.

In 2015, it had acquired Odia GEC Sarthak TV from Sarthak Entertainment for ₹ 115 crore. The all-cash deal includes ₹ 15 crore payable in financial year 2017 and 2018, linked to certain performance milestones of the channel.

ZEEL has entered into a definitive agreement to buy 9X Media and INX Music from New Silk Route and other shareholders, for ₹ 160 Crore paid upfront in cash.


INX Media Was Founded In 2007 By Peter & Indrani Mukerjea








INX TO 9X MEDIA

9X Media, previously known as INX Media, was founded in 2007 by Peter Mukerjea, under the name of his wife Indrani Mukerjea, since his exit contract with Star India dis not permit him to start and own the business.

INX Media also owned and operate a Hindi General Entertainment Channel 9X. the channel lost money heavily.

In 2010, ZEEL bought Channel 9X for ₹ 64 crore. The same year, the company changed its name to 9X Media and focused its energies on growing its music portfolio.

9X Media's consolidated revenue for FY17 stood at ₹ 158.6 crore and it posted an EBITDA loss of ₹ 5 crore.


THE DEAL

ZEEL will buy over 91.45 million shares of ₹ 10 each for a total consideration of ₹ 155.2 crore.

9X Media holds 70.85% stake in INX Music. Hence Zee will pay an additional ₹ 4.8 crore for the balance 29.15% stake in INX Music.

Both, 9X Media & INX Music have been losing money for atleast the past 3 years. They had a consolidated revenue of ₹ 158.6 crore in FY17 on a negative EBITDA of ₹ 5.1 crore.

The transaction is expected to be completed in 60 days as no government approvals are required.


9X CHANNELS

9X Media, along with its subsidiaries, operates a bouquet of 6 music channels: 9XM (Latest Bollywood), 9X Jalwa (Evergreen Hindi), 9X Jhakaas (Marathi), 9X Tashan (Punjabi), 9XO (English), 9X Bajao (Hindi Classics).

The Punjabi music channel 9X Tashan is a joint venture with Cable TV operator Sandeep Bansal, who has a 34% stake in the JV. With ZEEL taking over the entire business, the JV will get dismantled.

9X Media's Bollywood news portal, SpotboyE, will also be a part of the transaction.


MUSIC PORTFOLIO BOOST

ZEEL has a portfolio of 33 channels, but a poor presence in regional music channels.

The 9X channels will strengthen ZEEL's music portfolio significantly. Currently, the network has Zing, which is a music channel for youth. Originally launched as Music Asia in 1997, the channel was subsequently re-launched as Zee Music in 2000. In 2009 it was rebranded Zing. In 2014, ZEEL re-positioned it from a music channel to a youth-and-music channel- a positioning that it retains till date.

ZEEL MD & CEO - Punit Goenka said "Continuing with our strategy of expanding into regional markets and niche genres, we are pleased to announce this acquisition which strengthens our music portfolio. Music is an integral component of consumer's entertainment pie and we will offer our consumers a wider array of choices through these channels. 9X channels enjoy leading market shares in their respective segments and will benefit immensely from our network's strength to achieve higher growth potential and cost synergies. I am confident that these channels will make our entertainment bouquet even more compelling for the audience." n