US-based Scripps Networks Interactive Inc is picking up a 69% stake in New Delhi Television Ltd’s lifestyle network for a sum of $55 million. NDTV Group will own the remaining 31% stake in NDTV Lifestyle, which is anchored by the channel NDTV Good Times. The transaction values NDTV Lifestyle at more than $79 million. The deal by the US media company is being seen as a part of its plan to expand internationally.
Scripps Networks Interactive and NDTV Group are contemplating the eventual launch of other lifestyle television channels through the NDTV Lifestyle partnership, both companies said in a release.
In a separate announcement, NDTV Networks informed exchanges that it has bought back $100 million step up coupon bonds due in 2012 for $72.4 million. This purchase has been financed through bank Loans. The repurchase has allowed NDTV Networks Plc to significantly reduce its outstanding borrowings and also to cut down on interest burden.
NBC had picked up a 26% stake in NDTV Networks for $150 million valuing the firm at $577 million early last year. At that time NBC was also given an option up its stake to 50% in two years. NDTV announced in October that it will buy back NBC’s stake in NDTV Lifestyle, which was reportedly done at $25 million.
Private equity investors including Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, CSFB, among others also bought a 24% stake in NDTV Networks for about $120 million in 2007.
NDTV Networks looks after the non-news businesses of the group. This includes channels like NDTV Imagine and NDTV Lifestyle, and the digital media business NDTV Convergence. NDTV Network also owns 50% in Ngen, a media process outsourcing firm with Genpact, and software and technology firm NDTV Labs.
Chief Executive of NDTV Lifestyle, Smeeta Chakrabarti, will continue to remain CEO of the venture. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2010. Scripps had recently announced plans to expand in Asia with launch of Food Network in from 2010.
In another recent media deal, HomeShop 18, a shopping channel from the Network 18 stable, was valued over $100 million by South Korea’s GS Home Shopping, the world’s third largest network.