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Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. To Acquire Imagine Showbiz Ltd.

Expands its reach in media business from the English space into the Hindi entertainment space.

Reliance Broadcast Network To Acquire Imagine Showbiz Ltd.

Expands its reach in media business from the English space into the Hindi entertainment space.

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | January 12, 2011

Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. (“RBNL”) has announced its proposal to acquire Imagine Showbiz Ltd. (“ISL”), through a buy-out from Cinestar Advertising Pvt. Ltd. (“CAPL”). This proposed acquisition by RBNL will include a 100% purchase of ISL’s shareholding, along with other assets including:

1. Intellectual Property rights

2. Vast music library

3. Rich Bollywood content

4. High end technical expertise – including top of the line studios and equipment

5. Well spread distribution network

Imagine Showbiz a Turner General Entertainment Networks India Pvt. Ltd endeavour, showcases the best of Bollywood music for a country where music is synonymous with Bollywood Music. Imagine Showbiz is a 24-hour Bollywood music channel catering to the varied tastes of the Indian youth. With its vast library of songs from every genre-soothing & melodious love songs to peppy, foot-tapping dance numbers, Imagine Showbiz is the channel to turn to if you want your daily dose of Superhit Bollywood Music.

The Channel went on air on August 15, 2008 as NDTV Imagine Showbiz. Imagine Showbiz Ltd. was a JV company between NDTV Group and Cinestar Advertising Private Ltd.

On 8 December 2009, it was announced that Turner Asia Pacific Ventures (a wholly owned subsidiary Turner Broadcasting System) had acquired a 92 per cent stake in NDTV Imagine Ltd. NDTV’s 76 per cent stake in NDTV Imagine would be given to Turner for $67 million, the Time Warner company would acquire fresh equity worth $50 million to get 92 per cent control. NDTV Imagine Ltd. runs NDTV Imagine, NDTV Lumiere and NDTV Imagine Showbiz television channels and film production and distribution company, NDTV Imagine Film Co. The purchase received approval from the Time Warner board on 17 December 2009. At the end of the $126.5 million deal, Turner holds 92% in NDTV Imagine Ltd. while 3.2% is retained by NDTV Networks and the remaining 4.8% is held by its chief executive officer Sameer Nair and other Imagine employees.

NDTV announced on 24 February 2010 that it has received all the regulatory approvals and the transaction has been concluded on 23 February by transfer of shares, amounting to 85.68 per cent of NDTV Imagine Ltd, by NDTV Networks Plc to Turner Asia Pacific Ventures. Also, it was announced that the three channels will be under Turner General Entertainment Networks, a holding company that will infuse fresh capital to fund the network's growth. The 'NDTV' brand will drop out and the channels will be labelled Imagine TV, Lumiere Movies and Imagine Showbiz.

Now, this acquisition will fit excellently into the overall business strategy of RBNL, leveraging excellent synergies with its radio arm - 92.7 BIG FM, its Intellectual Property arm - BIG Live and its integrated sales offering through BIG Connect. The acquisition will be done through RBNL’s wholly owned subsidiary Reliance Television Pvt. Ltd.

Key Highlights:

1. Excellent synergies between this television channel and 92.7 BIG FM, with music and Bollywood as a key common programming mainstay

2. Similar audiences and markets, will allow for common use of research, music expertise and audience mapping analysis

3. RBNL’s Intellectual Property business – BIG Live will also see business synergies with this channel

4. Ability to monetize this channel through RBNL’s integrated sales arm – BIG Connect

5. RBNL will distribute and place both Showbiz as well as the network of 3 BIG CBS Channels, giving it additional strength on ground

6. Distribution synergies with Reliance Digicom

7. Leverage Bollywood content from Group companies like BIG Pictures, BIG Music and Home Video

8. Content integration across Mobile, Digital, VAS and 3G platforms

9. The equity of the ‘BIG’ brand will ensure the channel has accelerated speed to market

With these synergies, this acquisition promises to work as an excellent addition to the business mix, further strengthening RBNL’s portfolio.

RBNL is a multi-media entity with presence across the verticals of radio, out of home, experiential marketing, digital and has recently made its foray into the television industry through its momentous joint venture with US’s No. 1 Television Broadcaster, CBS Studios International. The Company has significant plans of further strengthening its television business and this takeover is a strategic move in that direction.

Speaking on the occasion, Tarun Katial, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. said, “This proposed acquisition is in line with the overall strategy to create ownership of multi-media consumer touch-points. It will further strengthen our television portfolio, from the English space into the Hindi entertainment space. This business deal seems a natural choice, given the seamless business fit, spanning across our verticals of radio, intellectual properties and digital along with the Group synergies. We are confident of building the Channel into a robust entertainment option with novel programming enhancements, while offering an exciting platform for marketers.”

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