Cable TV

DEN Networks takes control of Snapdeal home shopping JV

MUMBAI: Jasper Infotech CEOs Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal are working on getting their ecommerce platform Snapdeal in ship shape by focusing on customer satisfaction and net revenues instead of gross merchandise value (GMV). This follows the march that rivals such as Flipkart and Amazon have stolen from it.

Getting rid of any diversifications and other assets that are not scaling up is probably part of the fitness plan. And that explains why the company has decided to divest its equity stake in Macro Commerce Private Ltd, which operates the DEN-Snapdeal home shopping channel.

When it was launched as a 50:50 joint venture with cable TV MSO DEN Networks with much hype last year, Bahl had stated that he was targeting Rs 500 crore in revenues from TV commerce in year one.
The numbers did not stack up and Snapdeal TV did a turnover of Rs 3.17 crore in 2015 and Rs 28 crore in 2017.

DEN Network promoter Sameer Manchanda probably has more faith in the home shopping television initiative than Bahl. Hence, late last week DEN informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it was buying an additional 32.87 per cent stake in the company from Jasper Infotech at a cost of Rs 60 million. Rs 10 million is for purchase of existing shares and Rs 50 million is through a rights issue, which will lead to an infusion of funds into Macro Commerce.

Post the acquisition, DEN Networks’ shareholding will rise to 82.87 per cent in Macro from the 50 per cent currently.

The purpose of the deal, the cable MSO says, is to take a controlling stake in the venture, expand the business and effectively manage the operations of the TV channel.

The market responded well to DEN Networks' announcement: its shares rose to Rs 94.70 in early morning trades, then dropped to Rs 89.90 – a rise of 0.35 paise over its previous close by day’s end.

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