On-air shopping channel HomeShop18, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Network18 Media and Investments Ltd, is merging with Shop CJ Network Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between private equity investor Providence Equity Partners and Korean firm CJO Shopping, according to a stock-exchange announcement.
“The resultant benefits of scale shall better the growth prospects of the combined entity, allowing it to improve its standing in the TV home-shopping challenge and compete better with e-commerce players,” a statement from Network18 said. The combined entity will have synergies in sourcing, marketing and delivery, it added.
The merger will be effected by way of a share swap, the statement said. Shop CJ Network will get a 25% stake in HomeShop18, as a result of which the firm will no longer be an immediate subsidiary of Network18 Media and Investments. Network18 will be the largest shareholder in the entity, the statement clarified.
A report in the The Economic Times pegged the deal at Rs 180-200 crore.
The statement did not elaborate on the ownership of Providence Equity Partners, but the ET report suggested the PE firm might "sell out completely".
Email queries have been sent to Providence and the responses will be updated as and when they are received.
In March, Providence confirmed that it was scaling back its India operations and its India managing director, Biswajit A Subramanian, was leaving to pursue other interests. At that point, a person familiar with the PE firm’s plans had said that Providence was retaining its Delhi-based director Varun Laul to manage its remaining portfolio companies.
Providence had exited its debut investment in India by selling the final tranche of its stake in Idea Cellular Ltd in February. It had first invested in the Aditya Birla Group telecom services provider in 2006, and made partial exits in 2014 and 2016.
Providence also holds stakes in telecom tower firm Indus Towers Ltd, Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd, and film distributor UFO Moviez India Ltd.