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Reliance Capital to sell stakes in TV, FM units to Zee Group

Reliance Capital on Wednesday announced that it will be selling 49 per cent stake in its radio business and 100 per cent interest in the TV arena to Zee Group.

IANS | Mumbai |

Reliance Capital on Wednesday announced that it
will be selling 49 per cent stake in its radio business and 100 per cent
interest in the TV arena to Zee Group that will not just cut Rs.1,900 crore in
debt but also unlock shareholder value.

The deal pegs the enterprise value of the radio and general
entertainment TV business at Rs.1,900 crore, the company said in a filing with
the stock exchange. The deal involved the popular 92.7 BIG FM radio channel.

“The entire proceeds from the stake sale will be used
to reduce Reliance Capital’s debt by Rs.1,900 crore ($283 million) upon final
completion of stake sale transactions. Both these transactions have been
approved by the boards of respective companies and are expected to be completed
by next year, subject to applicable approvals,” the company said.

“We are happy to bring in Zee Media as our partner in
the Radio business and divest 100 per cent of our general entertainment TV
business to Zee Entertainment,” said Sam Ghosh, Executive Director and Group
CEO of Reliance Capital.

“This transaction is part of our strategy to reduce
exposure in non-core business of media and entertainment and work towards
further reducing our debt under Reliance Capital.”

Immediately after the regulatory filing, the shares of
Reliance Capital rose to Rs.431.40 — up Rs 11.55 or 2.75 per cent. Ernst and
Young was the financial advisor to Reliance Broadcast Network for the
transactions.

Rajiv Singh, COO of Zee Media Corp, said his group was
looking forward to the partnership with Reliance Capital, and that it will help
the group reach out to a larger audience base.

“This transaction shall bring about the desired
business diversity and will help in achieving the sound financial objectives at
an accelerated pace. We are confident that this investment will enhance value
for all stakeholders,” Singh said.

Punit Goenka, Managing Director of Zee Entertainment, said
that by virtue of the deal, Big Magic will give his group access to comedy
genre enhancing the customer offerings. “Big Ganga, a leading Bhojpuri
channel, syncs with our strategy of expanding into the regional markets which
offers attractive growth potential.”

Reliance Broadcast Network said it runs a network of FM
Radio channels in India under the brand name of 92.7 Big FM, reaching out to 45
cities, 1,200 towns and over 200 million people. It will be transferring the 45
operational and 14 new channels into two special investment vehicles.

Zee Group will acquire 49 per cent stake in each of these
two vehicles. Both companies shall also have an option for acquiring the
balance 51 per cent stake in the vehicles after the stipulated lock-in period.

The General Entertainment TV broadcasting business currently
comprises of two channels — Big Magic and Big Ganga. Big Magic is a Comedy
channel catering to Hindi Speaking Markets while Big Ganga is a leading
Bhojpuri entertainment channel catering to audiences in Bihar, Jharkhand and
the Purvanchal region.

Both these channels would be merged into ZEEL as part of
this transaction.