Big FM, India Today deals: Zee Media seeks shareholder nod for loans

BENGALURU: Zee Media Corporation Limited (ZMCL) has sought public shareholder approval for special resolutions by postal ballot /e-voting process for authorizing the board to borrow moneys in excess of the paid-up share capital and free reserves of the company up to Rs. 3,000 crore.

The funds will be utilised to acquire by way of subscription, purchase or otherwise the securities of, Today Merchandise Pvt Ltd (TMPL), Today Retail Network Pvt Ltd (TRNPL), Vrushvik Entertainment Pvt Ltd (VEPL) and Azalia Media Services Pvt Ltd (ASMPL), the current and/or future subsidiary(ies) and/or associate(s) of the company, subject to the condition that the aggregate of principal amount of such loan and/or value of such investment and/or principal amount secured by such guarantee/security shall not exceed an amount of Rs. 3,000 crores at any point in time.

VEPL and ASMPL are the two companies to which Reliance ADA will transfer its radio and television business to. Both – ZMCL and Reliance ADA have the option to acquire the balance 51 stakes in VEPL and ASMPL. Both TRNPL and TMPL are loss making companies of the India Today group’s Living Media India Limited (LMIL) that have been developing infrastructure for TV shopping and eCommerce businesses to compliment its TV shopping business.

As mentioned earlier, the ZMCL board had earlier approved acquisition of 49 per cent stake in 92.7 BIG FM, the radio broadcasting business of Reliance Broadcast Network Limited (RBNL), part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance ADA group. This will give Zee access to 45 running FM radio channels, apart from 14 other licences. The two Essel group companies – ZMCL and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) were to pick up stakes in Reliance ADA’s FM radio business and two television channels respectively. Business Standard had valued the radio business 49 percent stake transaction at Rs 1,592 crore.

Earlier, in February this year, the ZMCL board had approved in-principle, acquisition of 80 per cent equity stake by the company in both TMPL and TRNL.

Among other resolutions, ZMCL has also asked its public investors to vote for resolutions that allow it to borrow money from its promoter entity Arm Infra & Utilities Pvt Ltd to the extent of Rs 500 crore.

The voting period will commence on and from 23 December 2016 at 9.00 a.m. and end on 21 January 2017 at 5.00 p.m. Shareholders can opt for only one mode of voting i.e. either by postal ballot or e-voting. In case any shareholder casts the vote(s) through both the modes, voting done by e-voting shall prevail and votes cast through postal ballot will be treated as invalid.

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