Television

Gemini, Udaya valuation report by Thursday: Maran

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MUMBAI: Sun TV Ltd has decided to merge satellite broadcasting companies Gemini TV Pvt Ltd and Udaya TV Pvt Ltd (except its FM radio division) with itself. Enam Financial Consultants and DSP Merrill Lynch have been appointed as advisors and the valuation report is expected to be submitted soon.

The final holding of the shareholders of Gemini and Udaya in Sun TV Ltd. will, thus, depend on the share swap ratio. The equity shares of Udaya TV, as of 7 March 2006, are held by Kalanithi Maran (66.67), S. Selvam (16.67 per cent) and S Selvi (16.66 per cent). In Gemini, Maran has 26.5 per cent, Kal Communication (a promoter Group company), 23.5 per cent, K Bharathi 30 per cent, Indira Anand 16 per cent and A Sai Siva Jyoti 4 per cent.

Indiantelevision.com was the first to report that Sun TV would be merging Gemini TV and Udaya TV with itself. Maran's broadcasting interests in the southern languages would, thus, be consolidated under a single company.

When contacted, promoter Kalanithi Maran had this to say: "We are expecting the report from Enam and DSP Merrill by Thursday. The shareholders of Gemini and Udaya TV will be given shares in Sun TV based on this."

Gemini TV posted a revenue of Rs 1.75 billion for the year ended 31 March 2006. The company owns Gemini TV, Teja TV, Gemini News, Gemini Music and Gemini Cable Vision.

Udaya TV's revenues for the last fiscal stood at Rs 943 million. It owns four television channels, Udaya TV, Udaya Movies, Udaya Varthegalu and Udaya TV II.

"With this proposed merger Sun TV shareholders should benefit immensely from the highly profitable operations and strong growth plans of both Gemini TV and Udaya TV. Sun will have an integrated growth strategy for all south Indian language channels, and thus build a dominant presence in entire south India," Maran says.

Sun TV currently operates four television channels - Sun TV, KTV, Sun News and Sun Music - in Tamil language and two television channels - Surya TV and Kiran TV - in Malayalam language, and three FM Radio Stations, and another three FM Radio Stations through its subsidiaries. The two subsidiaries, Kal Radio Ltd and South Asia FM Ltd, jointly hold 41 FM radio licences for running stations across India.

"With this proposed merger, Sun TV Ltd. will become one of the largest television broadcasters in India," the company says in a statement.

The Sun TV scrip gained 1.13 per cent today in the BSE to close the day at Rs 1528.45.

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