Zee acquires stake in Big FM

Thursday 24 November, 2016


Indian billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL), which operates 92.7 Big FM across 45 stations in India, has signed definitive and binding agreements with Zee Media Corporation Limited (ZMCL) to sell 49 percent stake in its radio broadcast business.

Zee is a subsidiary of the Essel Group and its founder is Subhash Chandra.

The company has 35 channels serving Indian content across India and 169 countries and forayed into radio space recently by acquiring the UAE’s oldest private FM station, Hum 106.2 FM.

According to Reliance Capital, the deal, which also includes Reliance’s entire general entertainment television channel business, will reduce the company’s debt by $283 million (Rs 19 billion).

“These transactions form part of Reliance Capital’s stated strategy to reduce leverage and exposure in non-core business of media and entertainment”, the firm said.

Both these transactions have been approved by the boards of respective companies and are expected to be completed by next year, subject to applicable approvals.

RBNL had also acquired 14 new stations in the recent auction of Phase III FM licenses.

Moreover, both the companies - ZMCL and RBNL - would have a call/put option to acquire the remaining 51 per cent shares after the mandatory lock-in provisions of the FM radio station licences expire.

“We are currently running successfully a bouquet of 11 news and current affair channels and with the addition of 59 radio licenses, we will be reaching out to a much increased audience base and will keep them engaged on different media platforms”, said Rajiv Singh, COO, Zee Media Corporation.

Country India
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