Network18 sells 20% of Bookmyshow for Rs 500 mn

MUMBAI: Raghav Bahl-promoted media conglomerate Network 18 group has sold a 20 per cent stake in entertainment ticketing website to venture capital firm Accel Partners for Rs 500 million.

Accel Partners will invest another Rs 500 million in Bigtree through a primary issuance but the amount of stake it will get for the direct investment has not been disclosed.

The transaction on completion will add Rs 450 million to the pre-tax profit of Network18 Media & Investments Ltd. The transaction values Bigtree, the holding company of, at Rs 2.5 billion.

Network18‘s stake in Bigtree will drop to 40 per cent from 60 per cent now, the company said in a statement. After the primary issuance, Network18 group‘s stake will further reduce.

Bigtree, established in 1999, started by setting up India‘s first entertainment online ticketing business, with the help of a profitable investment made by Chase Capital Partners JP Morgan.

The sale of stake in Bigtree is in line with Network18‘s stated objective of reducing stakes in digital and other non-broadcasting assets to create value for the Network18 shareholders and allow infusion of growth capital in these assets.

The stake sale at is the second in a series of asset monetization transactions by Network18. Earlier during the year, Network18 had profitably sold its stake in one of the Capital18 investee companies - NetworkPlay to Bertelsmann.

The Network18 group operates a portfolio of digital content and e-commerce assets including,,, and Network18 also holds a minority stake in Yatra - leading travel booking estinations.

Announcing the transaction, Network18 MD Raghav Bahl said, "After a phase of investment in building our digital and other non-broadcasting businesses, we believe that many of these assets have reached an inflection point and can now help in creating value for all our stakeholders. The dilution in one of our premier digital commerce assets - is a reflection of our commitment to profitably monetise these assets for the benefit of our shareholders and also facilitate the growth of these businesses to the next level.

"We are confident that the Indian digital story is just beginning and many of the digital commerce and content assets like, Homeshop18, the content properties under Web18 and the Capital18 investee companies; that we have nurtured over the past decade are now on track for the next phase of their growth journey."

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