NDTV plans to sell strategic assets

New Delhi Television Ltd is planning to sell some assets, as the loss-making media house looks to monetise its investments and cut costs.

The company said in a stock-exchange filing on Monday that it has convened a board meeting to consider “potential sale of certain strategic assets” by some of the company’s subsidiaries.

NDTV neither specified the date of the board meeting nor the assets it plans to sell. It also didn’t specify any reason for the planned asset sales.

Founded in 1988, the media house operates news channels NDTV 24X7, NDTV India and NDTV Profit, and lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times as well as related websites.

The broadcaster also runs five online businesses under unit NDTV Convergence Ltd. These are apparel and accessories site IndianRoots, auto portal, gadgets marketplace Gadgets 360, wedding preparations portal BandBaajaa, and food site SmartCooky.

NDTV first ventured into the e-commerce segment in 2013 with the launch of IndianRoots. In April 2015, IndiaRoots raised $5 million in a Series A round of funding that valued it around $85 million.

It also raised funding for the other four businesses between August and December 2015 at a total valuation of about $112 million (Rs 746 crore then). Gadgets 360 was valued around $50 million, CarAndBike close to $30 million and Bandbaajaa almost $20 million. SmartCooky was valued nearly $12 million.

In April last year, VCCircle reported, citing group CEO Vikram Chandra, that the company was scouting for strategic partners for its e-commerce ventures and was open to selling a majority stake in some of them to generate funds to sustain its loss-making core broadcast business.

NDTV posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 74 crore for the nine months through December 2016 on total revenue of about Rs 368 crore. This compares with a loss of Rs 54 crore and total revenue of Rs 396 crore a year earlier. The company is also battling government authorities for alleged violations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act and is contesting a penalty levied by the income tax department.

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