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Hinduja TMT to de-merge media, IT/BPO biz

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MUMBAI: Hinduja TMT Ltd. will de-merge the company's IT/BPO and media businesses into separate entities. The board of directors of the company are meeting tomorrow to provide in principle approval for this.

The media business is likely to be brought under a holding company, a source said. HTMT has been weighing several options while deciding on separating its IT from media business. One option is to have the cable TV and broadband business under one entity while keeping the content business separate. Another possiblity could be to have a common entity for the media businesses.

"I have nothing to comment at this stage. The board is meeting tomorrow," HTMT MD K Thiagarajan said.

Last month, speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Thiagarajan had admitted that de-merger was very much in the plans. "It couldn't be done in 2005-06 fiscal because of certain taxation issues. The programme is still alive and we hope to de-merge early this fiscal. A committee of directors are looking into the issue."

HTMT has subsidiary companies which are into cable TV distribution, a cable movie channel, and movie financing and production. IndusInd Media & Communications Ltd (IMCL) runs cable TV through the Incablenet brand while CVIL operates CVO, a Hindi cable movie channel. IN Network Entertainment Ltd. (INEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of HTMT, is in film and content finance, production and distribution.

Recently, Zee Telefilms had announced its plans to de-merge Siticable, a wholly owned subsidiary, into a separate company called Wire and Wireless (India) Limited (WWIL). This would bring specific focus into the cable business and be attractive to investors.

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