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IndusInd Media demerges broadband biz, acquires 76% in Amaravara Digital

MUMBAI: Hinduja Ventures Ltd’s (HVL) subsidiary IndusInd Media & Communications Ltd (IMCL), which houses the company’s cable TV and broadband business, has demerged its broadband business into Planet E Shopping, which is an associate company of HVL.

The broadband division was demerged in favour of Planet E Shopping on a slump sale basis for a sale consideration of Rs 267 crore (Rs 2.67 billion) under a scheme that has been approved by the Bombay High Court. This took place in FY16.

During the year, IMCL also acquired 76% stake in Amaravara Digital Services. Apart from Amaravara, IMCL has 17 subsidiaries and one joint venture with RMD Baroda Network.

MSOs have been demerging their broadband businesses due to lack of clarity whether they have to pay 8% adjusted gross revenue (AGR) as licence fee on only the broadband business or the company’s total income.

Hathway Cable & Datacom has also demerged its broadband business into a separate company.

Meanwhile, HVL has cut down its consolidated operating loss from media and communications segment for the financial year 2015–16. The operating loss from the segment stood at Rs 185.81 crore (Rs 1.86 billion) compared to Rs 239.71 crore (Rs 2.4 billion) in the year-ago period.

Operating revenue from media and communications fell to Rs 492.55 crore (Rs 4.93 billion) from Rs 543.16 crore (Rs 5.43 billion).

The company invested Rs 200.93 crore (Rs 2.01 billion)as capital in the media and communications segment. In comparison, it had employed Rs 198.14 crore (Rs 1.98 billion) in the previous fiscal in the segment.

HVL on standalone basis reported a total income of Rs 332.49 crore (Rs 3.32 billion) for the year ended 31 March 2016 compared to Rs 110.45 crore (Rs 1.1 billion) a year ago. The company said the increase in the total income was due to sale of set-top boxes.