Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd(ZEE) has acquired the general entertainment business of media house INX Media for around Rs 64 crore (~$14.5 million). The transaction is through a stock-cum-debt assumption and does not involve any upfront cash payment by ZEE.
As per the deal, shareholders of INX Media will get 1 share of ZEE for every seven shares owned in INX Media. Pursuant to the transaction, ZEE will issue new shares that are worth Rs 4.2 crore as per current market price. In addition it would also assume debt of Rs 60 crore, pushing up overall enterprise value of the transaction.
Founded by Indrani Mukherjea the wife of former STAR India chief executive Peter Mukherjea, INX media had in its initial years brought in investors such as Temasek, New Silk Route, New Vernon Private Equity, Kotak Mahindra Capital and Srei.
For Zee this could be yet another attempt to emerge stronger amongst a number of general entertainment broadcasters who are in cut throat competition for eyeballs. Besides the original top three Star, Zee and Sony new-comer Colors has also ramped up competition and so has a number of non traditional channels such as MTV who have switched on to reality TV big time to catch audiences.
ZEE or Essel Group has over the last few years restructured itself by spinning out different businesses into separate listed companies: Zee News, Dish TV and WWIL. Most recently it merged ETC Networks with itself and then announced demerger of education business.
ZEE houses the entire entertainment programming business of the group and with amalgamation of 9X it would further gain in the space after bringing in regional channels like ETC Punjabi besides Hindi music channel ETC Music into its fold.