Astro subsidiary to buy NDTV stake

Share sale follows Scripps deal collapse in May

NEW DELHI -- Diversified broadcasting group New Delhi Television Ltd. informed the Bombay Stock Exchange Tuesday that NDTV and a subsidiary of Malaysia's Astro All Asia Networks plc “have reached a definitive agreement to create a strategic alliance for lifestyle channels in India.”

In addition to running its flagship news channel business, which owns English news outlet NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India in Hindi, NDTV also runs English lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times via its subsidiary NDTV Lifestyle Ltd. NDTV's entertainment foray under subsidiary NDTV Imagine runs a Hindi entertainment channel and niche world movie channel NDTV Lumiere.

NDTV's statement follows recent speculation that NDTV was looking for an equity sale in its lifestyle business after a previous deal with Scripps Network Inc. fell through.

As per the proposed transaction which is subject to regulatory approvals, South Asia Creative Assets Ltd. (a subsidiary of Astro All Asia Networks plc) will acquire a 49% stake in NDTV Lifestyle Holdings Private Limited (NLHPL, the proposed holding company for NDTV Lifestyle Ltd) in two tranches, by way of subscription of $40 million. The balance 51% stake in the joint venture will be held by NDTV.

“In addition to operating NDTV Good Times, NDTV and Astro may also engage in non-material diversification into complementary lines related to the lifestyle segment through the joint venture company,” the statement added.

Diversified media group Astro already has investments in pay television and radio broadcasting in India in addition to its presence in Malaysia and the Middle East.
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