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Zee Media acquires 80% stake in India Today's entities; to launch shopping channel

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MUMBAI: Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL) has acquired up to 80 per cent equity stake in Today Merchandise Pvt Ltd (TMPL) and Today Retail Network Pvt Ltd (TRNL), which are wholly owned subsidiaries of India Today Group's entity Living Media India Ltd. The company plans to invest approximately Rs 165.78 crore over the next four years in scaling up this business.

Today Merchandise and Today Retail Network, which are currently running into losses, have been developing infrastructure for launching a TV shopping channel and also operate an e-commerce website called www.bagittoday.com to complement the TV shopping business.

With this acquisition, Zee Media is not only looking at shortening the launch timing of a TV shopping channel but is also planning to scale up the business at a faster pace.

By June 2016, ZMCL will acquire 49 per cent equity stake by investing approximately Rs 39.78 crore by subscribing to equity shares of TMPL and TRNL, at par value and will have managerial and operational control over the target entities.

Subsequently the company will increase its stake, by investing up to Rs 126 crore over a period of four years, by subscribing to any security convertible into equity shares of the two companies at par value, such that upon conversion, the shareholding of the company shall be 80 per cent of fully diluted capital of TMPL and TRNL.

TMPL was incorporated on 23 November, 2010. During financial years ended 31 March, 2015, 31 March, 2014 and 31 March, 2013, TMPL had achieved turnover of Rs 3.84 crore, Rs 5.25 crore and Rs 5.11 crore respectively.

On the other hand, TRNL was incorporated on 20 August, 2007 and during its financial years ended 31 March, 2015, 31 March, 2014 and 31 March, 2013, TRNL achieved turnover of Rs 37.36 crore, Rs 52.45 crore and Rs 49.80 crore respectively.

ZMCL’s board of directors have in-principal approved the stake acquisition. ZMCL, with its existing broadcast operations, is looking to derive the synergy benefits from this proposed investment.

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