to a source, Star is selling its stake at a value that is not high.
Shankar, however, declined to talk on this. "We do not talk
about our financials. All that I can say is that we have split amicably,"
has operationally broken even since FY11, from its loss of
around Rs 60 million in the earlier year on a revenue of Rs 2.13
billion, according to market estimates. The company's revenue in
FY'12 has crossed Rs 2.6 billion.
asked whether Star was planning to buy a stake in NDTV, Shankar
said the company had decided to exit the news business in India
because of the 26 per cent FDI cap in the news sector. "We
will not invest in any news venture including NDTV till the FDI
cap is upped. "
feels that the whole economics of the TV news business in India
is not working. "News Corp is not a financial investor. If
you are not in the driver's seat or have no significant say in the
business, it doesn't make strategic sense at all," said Shankar.
won't the former MCCS CEO and a newsman himself miss the news business?
"We have created a tremendous entertainment footprint and will
now build the sports business. News is definitely a gap in our portfolio.
But unless there is a change in the FDI limit, it doesn't make sense,"
Telefilms is the other joint venture company where Star has exited
from any involvement but is holding on to its 25.9 per cent stake.
While Star has been wanting to sell for long, the promoters of Balaji
Telefilms have not made the purchase yet as the share prices have
slipped drastically over the years. In the joint venture termination
agreement inked in 2008, Balaji had the right to purchase the shareholding
held by Star for an aggregate price of Rs 190 per share. But that
period has lapsed and Star has the right to independently find a
buyer for its stake in Balaji Telefilms.