TV18 set to acquire major stake in Infomedia

TV18 set to acquire major stake in Infomedia

Mumbai: India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank’s private equity arm ICICI Ventures said it is selling a 40% stake in Infomedia India Ltd, a publication firm, to media conglomerate Television 18 India Ltd for Rs178 crore.

As per the deal, TV18 will buy at least 53% of Infomedia and the deal to acquire a 40% stake would be followed by an open offer for a further 20% stake.

ICICI Ventures, in a statement, said that if the open offer does not generate enough response, TV18 would have a right to purchase required number of shares from an ICICI Venture-managed fund so as to augment its stake to at least 53%.

“The transaction is subject to statutory and regulatory clearances, wherever necessary," it noted.

The acquisition would enable TV18 to enter the fast growing publication businesses, apart from the cross-media leverage of its existing brands.

Infomedia was one of the first leveraged buyouts in India led by ICICI Venture. The sale process of ICICI Venture’s stake had witnessed strong interests from several strategic and financial investors, including international majors. This is the second successful leveraged buyout exit by ICICI Venture in the recent past after Ace Refractories.

ICICI Venture’s managing director and ceo Renuka Ramnath said: “This is definitely a landmark deal in the fast growing media and publishing space between two leading players in the industry. Since the buyout, we have worked hard with the management to build a unique business model that is profitable and scalable."

Commenting on the deal, Network 18 managing director, Raghav Bahl said, “This acquisition signifies our commitment to being an integrated player in the media and publishing space. This acquisition has come at an opportune time and will significantly accelerate our publishing growth plans."

“The fresh infusion of funds, combined with the strong management team at Infomedia will form a potent combination, thereby enabling the company to significantly leverage Network 18’s strengths in the television, internet and mobile businesses," said Haresh Chawla, ceo, Network18.

Infomedia MD Prakash Iyer said: “TV 18’s strategic acquisition of Infomedia will enhance the marketing of the company’s value added offerings, which will be extremely relevant in a rapidly changing Indian media market."

Infomedia India has further agreed to issue 50 lakh warrants to TV18 and 10 lakh warrants to the ICICI Venture managed fund. This issue is as per Sebi pricing norms and this fresh infusion of funds will be used to propel further growth in Infomedia, the statement added.