Sells its financial data and news terminal business to Samara Capital for Rs 90 Crores
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | December 3, 2012
Network18 has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Samara Capital to divest its entire stake in India’s premier financial data and news terminal business –NewsWire18. This is in line with its stated objective of divesting non-core assets profitably to allow greater focus on its core television and digital businesses.
Network18 was the majority shareholder in NewsWire18, having incubated the company with the founding CEO, Pankaj Aher and his team. The total transaction will result in proceeds of Rs. 90 Crores for Network18 in consideration for divesting its entire stake in the business. The transaction is expected to add approximately Rs. 70 Crores to Network18’s consolidated pre-tax profit for the current quarter. NewsWire18 will also be rechristened over the next 90 days as a result of the transaction.
Announcing the transaction, Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, Network18 said, “The divestiture of Newswire18, India’s leading financial data and news terminal business is a reflection of our commitment to profitably monetize non-core assets for the benefit of our shareholders and to also facilitate the growth of these businesses to the next level. We are proud to have partnered with NewsWire18 in its journey thus far and are confident that Pankaj and his team will continue to excel and build one of the finest financial data businesses in India.”
Commenting on the deal, Sai Kumar, Group CEO, said, “In a few short years, NewsWire18 has grown into a leader in its space and we take great pride and pleasure in having written this wonderful growth story. The growth at NewsWire18 is a reflection of Network18’s business building skills and the value that our network eco-system brings to a business. We would like to give Pankaj and his team and Samara Capital our best wishes as they embark on the next phase of their journey.”
The divestment of NewsWire18 forms a part of a series of asset monetization transactions by Network18. Earlier during the year, Network18 had profitably sold its stake in one of the Capital18 investee companies – NetworkPlay and then partially diluted its stake in India’s premier Digital Commerce asset – Bookmyshow.com.
Pankaj Aher, CEO of NewsWire18, said, “We thank Network18 for being supportive shareholders and helping us build our business from scratch. We were looking for a partner to provide growth capital to drive the next stage of our journey. In Samara, we have found a partner who believes in our vision and has an ability to add value which uniquely qualifies them to help with businesses such as ours.” Pankaj further added that “Samara has chalked out detailed plans and will be deeply involved in business strategy, growing our suite of products, expanding across other emerging markets, strengthening management team and implementing best in class systems and processes.”
On behalf of Network18, Sarbvir Singh, Head Investments, said, “In partnership with Pankaj and the NewsWire18 team, we helped build India’s leading domestic financial data terminal and news business. We salute the team’s passion and hard work that has resulted in a great outcome for our shareholders. We wish Samara Capital and them the very best going forward.”
Paurush Roy, Managing Director at Samara India Advisors Pvt. Ltd. said, “We believe the information services market in India is at the cusp of significant growth and provides for exciting opportunities. NewsWire18 is well positioned to capture this opportunity because of its strong market position in India, understanding of the local market, customer centricity, and above all its world class and committed management team.”
Samara Capital’s investments include companies such as Flemingo Duty Free, Thriveni Earthmovers, Monte Carlo Fashions, Thyrocare Technologies, Ratnakar Bank among others.
BMR Advisors acted as the sole transaction adviser to Network18.