Television

Zee issues notice to BSE on board meet

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Zee Telefilms Ltd today issued a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange that it has scheduled a meeting of its board of directors for 1 February, 2002, to consider and review the corporate structure of the company.

It was in September that Zee Telefilms president (corporate finance and strategy) Rajesh Jain had said the company would be reducing the number of its subsidiaries from 22 to between 10 and 12 in line with its overall corporate restructuring plans.

"Over a period of time, we will rationalise the number of our subsidiary companies for maximising synergies," Jain had said then.

The move will align the businesses of the media conglomerate under three broad heads: Content, access and education � as proposed by management consultants AT Kearney.

Taking up the example of Zees access business, Jain said this business comprises Siti cable which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZTL. Siti cable, in turn, has a wholly-owned subsidiary called Zee Interactive Multimedia Ltd. Zee plans to merge these two companies to bring the access function under one umbrella.

While the education business is conducted via a single company called Zee Interactive Learning Systems (ZILS) all the remaining subsidiaries perform the crucial content business, both in India and overseas, he said.

The move by Zee Telefilms to further rationalise its large number of subsidiaries follows divestment of its stake last year in three subsidiaries  Buddha Films LTD, Zee Sports LTD and Zee Publishing Ltd.

In line with this restructuring exercise, e-Connect India LTD, which is at present a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZTL, may be merged with ZILS, for distribution functions, the holding company Patco may be merged with the direct-to-home marketing company EL-Zee.

ZTL has eight wholly-owned subsidiaries in India including Patco, EL-Zee Television LTD, Siti cable, ZIML, e-Connect India, ZILS besides two regional channel companies in Dakshin Media LTD (Tamil) and Kaveri Entertainment LTD (Kannada).

Its overseas subsidiaries include Zee Multimedia Worldwide LTD British Virgin Islands (ZMWLBVI) which is the holding company of ZMWL Mauritius and others. ZTL holds 50 per cent stake each in Winterhealth Company LTD which is the holding company for Asia Today Ltd.

Other ZTL subsidiaries functioning abroad include Expand Fast Holding BVI (which is the broadcasting company for Zee Music, Alpha and English channels) and Zee Multimedia Worldwide, Mauritius.

Zee Telefilms had last year appointed Kearney which suggested many changes in the then organisational structure including downsizing the media giants manpower, realigning businesses under the three distinct business heads with their respective CEOs and sprucing up programming on the flagship channel Zee TV. 

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