Time Warner Inc, a global leader in media and entertainment businesses, is buying 92% stake in NDTV Imagine for $126.5 million. The transaction includes a secondary purchase of an 87.4% stake in Imagine from NDTV Networks Plc, a subsidiary of NDTV Imagine Ltd, and another minority shareholder, as well as a $50 million primary capital infusion for the funding of the business at the close of the acquisition, said a Time Warner statement.
NDTV Ltd chairman Prannoy Roy said, for NDTV, this marks the final stage and the successful conclusion of the restructuring of its subsidiary, NDTV Networks plc. “With this, the NDTV Group will be in a position to be cash-surplus and debt-free on a consolidated basis,” added Roy.
The remaining 8% stake in Imagine will be held by the current management of Imagine, ESOP holders and NDTV Networks Plc. Last week, NDTV Ltd informed the BSE that the company is selling a 76% stake in Imagine for $117 million.
“This acquisition marks another significant milestone in Turner’s business in India. NDTV has created a network that has been successful in catering to the needs of the entire spectrum of television audiences and we’re happy to leverage our expertise to help take the channel forward,” Steve Marcopoto, president, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific Inc. (TBSAP), said in a statement. TBSAP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS), a Time Warner company.
Imagine owns a leading Hindi general entertainment channel and other entertainment assets in India. Post this transaction, Sameer Nair, CEO of Imagine, will continue in his role, and the company’s existing core team will work with Turner’s senior management.
BofA Merrill Lynch has advised Time Warner on this transaction.