NDTV to sell stake in NDTV Imagine to Turner for $117 million

After selling stake in NDTV Good Times to Scripps Networks, the Prannoy Roy-led TV network is again selling its majority stake in NDTV Imagine to Turner Asia Pacific

Media company New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) on Tuesday said that it has entered into a pact with Turner Asia Pacific for selling most of its indirect holding in NDTV Imagine for $117 million (about Rs546 crore), reports PTI.

As part of the agreement, NDTV, through its subsidiary NDTV Networks Plc, will sell 76% of NDTV Imagine for $67 million, plus a fresh issue of equity shares worth $50 million to Turner, NDTV said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

NDTV Networks will retain a 5% stake in the channel before the issue of fresh shares, it said. The deal is subject to approval of Turner Asia Pacific Venture\'s parent firm Time Warner Inc and other regulatory authorities, the filing added.

Last month the media conglomerate had said that it would sell 69% stake in its lifestyle programming subsidiary NDTV Lifestyle, which runs the lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times, to US based Scripps Networks for $55 million.

Over the last four years, NDTV’s standalone revenues have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.3% from Rs1,500 crore in FY05 to Rs3,100 crore in FY09, though the company reported a standalone proforma net loss of Rs73.20 crore in FY09, as against a standalone proforma net profit of Rs2.90 crore in FY05. The decline in the company’s profitability was primarily due to start-up costs incurred towards NDTV Profit in FY05 to FY07, as well as weak revenue growth and higher operational cost in FY09, due to the economic downturn.

In FY09, the company posted a consolidated proforma net loss of Rs500 crore, mainly due to launching of five broadcasting properties, including NDTV Imagine, which entailed heavy investment in the initial years in the form of operating cost.

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