Television

NDTV to spin off internet arm into separate company

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MUMBAI: Prannoy Roy-promoted NDTV Ltd is all set to spin off its Internet arm ndtv.com into a separate company. This will in turn help the news broadcaster to sell of a stake to help fund new initiatives.

The company is likely to ratify its plans about the future venture at its the board meeting, tomorrow (17 October).

The restructuring of the company has been necessitated as it is primarily a news broadcaster, which means that regulatory norms would hamper attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) if the company were to undertake any new venture in the Internet domain or general entertainment.

Indian government norms stipulate that a news channel uplinking out of India cannot have more than 26 per cent of foreign investment (direct or institutional). This will also help the shareholders of the company to fully unlock value for the company. The restructuring plan is subject to board approval.

According to information doing the rounds in the broadcast market, the company has also entered into the recruitment service space. It is reported to have tied up with Thailand based Yello Media Ltd. Through this partnership, NDTV will create ndtvjobs.com in association with yellojobs.com. Yello Media also manages a classified ad site named Yello Classified. The company had earlier made an official announcement of divesting its stake during the fourth quarter of 2004-2005.

NDTV already manages online platforms like ndtvgadgets.com, ndtvtravels.com and ndtvshopping.com.

The company's main competitor TV18 Network, which manages business news channels like CNBC-TV18, Awaaz and general news channels like CNN-IBN, IBN7, had recently picked up a stake in JobStreet India Pvt Ltd. The Raghav Bahl-promoted network already owns online platforms - moneycontrol.com, commoditiescontrol.com, poweryourtrade.com and ibnlive.com and is very aggressive with its plans.

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