Television

BBC Worldwide to invest Rs 318 million in Radio Mid Day; stake not finalised

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide Holdings BV is investing Rs 318.50 million in Radio Mid Day West (India), making it the first equity deal after the government allowed up to 20 per cent foreign shareholding in private FM radio business.

But BBC's exact shareholding in Radio Mid-Day is not finalised yet. "The exact stake position would be decided after the auctioning process is over,"

Mid-day Multimedia Ltd promoter and managing director Tariq Ansari tells Indiantelevision.com.

Radio Mid Day has also found a second investor. Rare Enterprises, which has stock broker Rakesh Jhunjhunwala as a partner, will be investing Rs 100 million in the company.

Radio Mid Day will utilise the funds for bidding for licenses under phase II of the private FM radio broadcasting policy. The company was recently cleared by the government to submit financial bids for the second phase of FM radio expansion, which is likely to start this month.

"We have entered into an agreement with BBC Worldwide to invest in the equity shares of Radio Mid Day. Further, we have also got into a formal arrangement with Rare Enterprises," Ansari said.

Announcing the partnership, BBC Worldwide managing director global TV sales Mark Young in a statement today said, "This is a very exciting and pivotal time to enter the Indian FM radio market."

He added, "With liberalisation of this sector offering unprecedented opportunities in FM radio, and Mid Day Multimedia's wealth of experience and expertise, our new partnership is well on course to establish a leading national radio business across India."

According to Ansari, access to one of the world's most respected media organisations will help establish a network of radio stations where producers can use the BBC's radio expertise to "develop and inspire their programming on a local level."

When queried by Indiantelevision.com on how many cities Radio Mid Day was planning to bid for, Ansari declined to comment.

Radio Mid Day West (India) Pvt Ltd is a subsidiary of Midday Multimedia and runs a radio station in Mumbai under the brand name Go 92.5 FM.

In a step-up to further liberalise the market, late last year the government decided to release 338 new FM radio licenses across 91 major cities.

Bidding opens in January and closes in February, after which successful applicants will have 12 months to establish operational FM radio stations.

Also Read:

Radio FM: govt announces 2nd list of bidders 

BBC mulls 20 % stake in Radio Mid-Day

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