Television

ZEEL acquires 9X Media for Rs 1.6 bn

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MUMBAI: Rumours around this acquistion have been doing the rounds for sometime. And they were denied for reasons of corporate and stock market compliance. But now  Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) has finally announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire  the Pradeep Guha-headed 9X Media and its subsidiaries from private equity firm New Silk Route and other shareholders for an all cash consideration of Rs. 1,600 million.

9X Media, along with its subsidiaries, operates a bouquet of six music channels - 9XM (Latest Bollywood), 9X Jalwa (Evergreen Hindi), 9X Jhakaas (Marathi), 9X Tashan (Punjabi), 9XO (English), 9X Bajao (Hindi Classics). 

On completion of the acquisition, these channels will be added to ZEEL?s current portfolio of 33 channels. The acquisition is in line with the company?s strategy to cater to a diverse audience by offering targeted products. Besides significantly expanding its Hindi music portfolio, it gives ZEEL access to the regional music genre. It also increases its regional footprint with foray into the Punjabi market. 

9X Media?s bouquet of channels has established a strong viewership on the back of the unique brand identity created over the years. In addition to strengthening ZEEL?s television bouquet, these channels will complement the music label and movie production businesses. 9X Media?s popular Bollywood news portal, SpotboyE, will also be a part of the transaction. The Company is confident of utilizing network synergies to bring down the costs and significantly improve the profitability of these channels.

ZEEL MD and CEO Punit Goenka said, ?Continuing with our strategy of expanding into regional markets and niche genres, we are pleased to announce this acquisition which strengthens our music portfolio. Music is an integral component of consumer?s entertainment pie and we will offer our consumers a wider array of choices through these channels. 9X channels enjoy leading market shares in their respective segments and will benefit immensely from our network?s strength to achieve higher growth potential and cost synergies. I am confident that these channels will make our entertainment bouquet even more compelling for the audience.?

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