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NDTV looks to sell assets

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-04-2017 Harveen Ahluwalia

New Delhi: New Delhi Television (NDTV) Limited which runs news channels like NDTV India and NDTV 24x7, on Monday said that it is considering potential sale of certain strategic assets by one or more of its subsidiaries.

In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange, the company said, “...board meeting of the company that is being convened to consider, inter alia, potential sale of certain strategic assets by certain material subsidiary(ies) of the company.” In the process, the trading window for dealing in the securities of the company will remain closed from 17 April 2017 till the conclusion of 48 hours from the date of the board meeting, the company added in the filing.

Currently, NDTV operates news channels NDTV India and NDTV 24x7, business news channel NDTV Profit/NDTV Prime, lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times and e-commerce verticals in ethnic wear (IndianRoots.com), automobile (CarAndBike.com), gadgets (Gadgets360.com), health foods (SmartCooky.com) and wedding preparation (BandBaajaa.com) sectors.

However, the company did not elaborate on the properties/ assets it is looking to sell. An e-mailed query to K. V. L. Narayan Rao, executive vice-chairperson at NDTV remained unanswered even as he was unavailable on the phone.

Media experts, however, said it was difficult to predict the assets that the broadcaster may be looking to sell as they could be either in its e-commerce vertical or some of the TV channels in its broadcasting business.

“The last few months have seen unprecedented consolidation in the media and entertainment space. Companies are increasingly exiting businesses they may not have the appetite to scale up. The idea is to focus on core businesses and upscale with efficiency rather than spread thin horizontally,” said Priyanka Chaudhary, regional media and entertainment spokesperson for Grant Thornton and a director at Grant Thornton India LLP.

NDTV had reported a consolidated net loss of Rs18 crore in the quarter ended 31 December, up from Rs13 crore in the year-ago period, following a dip in advertising revenue due to demonetization of high value currency notes. NDTV’s television news business generated revenue of Rs108 crore, down from Rs130 crore in the same period last year.

As per the data released by television viewership ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India last week, NDTV’s flagship English-language news channel NDTV 24x7 ranked third after Times Now and India Today television. The channel had garnered 3.28 lakh impressions

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