ZEE acquires 9X Media, INX Music for Rs. 160 crore
According to reports, 9X Media and INX Music have been acquired by Subhash Chandra-backed Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) for a cash consideration of Rs. 160 crore. In a BSE filing, ZEE said "The board of directors of the company at the meeting held on October 6 approved acquisition of 100% equity stake in two media entities- 9X Media and INX Music." Here's more.
What is it all about?
ZEE MD and CEO, Punit Goenka believes that 9X channels stand to benefit from ZEE network's strength and will now be able to achieve a higher growth rate and enjoy better cost synergy. He 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."
What did it get?
Earlier, Sony Pictures Networks India had expressed interest to buy 9X Media for Rs. 220 crore. However, the deal didn't go through due to 9X Media's taxation issues. 9X Media, along with its subsidiaries, has six music channels - 9XM (Bollywood), 9X Jalwa (Evergreen Hindi), 9X Jhakaas (Marathi), 9X Tashan (Punjabi), 9XO (English), 9X Bajao (Hindi Classics). It also owns SpotboyE website, which provides Bollywood-related updates.
ZEE's recent merger and acquisitions
ZEE engaged in several M&A in the recent years. The group sold off its sports broadcasting wing, which it operated under the Ten Sports brand, for $385 million to Sony Pictures Networks India. It also obtained 49% stake in the radio station Big FM, which is run by Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Broadcast Network.
Picking up rest of the firm
In a separate transaction, Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) will also be acquiring the remainder 26% stake in Zee Turner Ltd for Rs. 2.6 lakh. This joint venture was formed by Zee and Turner International India Pvt. Ltd way back in 2001 in order to distribute Zee and Turner channels. However, it has been non-operational for a few years now.