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NDTV forms committee to evaluate separate listing of NDTV Convergence

MUMBAI: NDTV Convergence, which houses the digital business of NDTV Ltd. and owns the website ndtv.com, is well on its way to list separately on the stock market.

Dr Prannoy Roy-promoted NDTV Ltd has taken a fresh step to consider the demerger and separate listing of its technology and digital businesses.

NDTV has formed a committee comprising independent directors to further evaluate the demerger of the NDTV group in a time-bound manner.

The committee has Amal Ganguli, John O’Loan, Indrani Roy and Kaushik Dutta. The NDTV board has given the nod for the company to go ahead with this.

Ernst & Young LLP and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas have presented the various alternatives available for the proposed demerger.

Meanwhile, NDTV Convergence is raising credit facility of Rs 55 crore (Rs 550 million) from Aditya Birla Finance Ltd (ABFL). NDTV Ltd and NDTV Networks, a subsidiary of the company, have furnished a corporate guarantee in favour of ABFL to secure the credit.

NDTV Ltd’s direct holding in NDTV Convergence is 17%, while NDTV Networks owns 75% stake in the company. The remaining 8% is owned by others. NDTV Ltd holds 85% of NDTV Networks.

In FY16, NDTV’s convergence business reported revenue of about Rs 130 crore (Rs 1.3 billion), up from around Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) a year ago. In FY14, NDTV Convergence earned revenue of Rs 72 crore (Rs 720 million) while EBITDA stood at Rs 4.5 crore (Rs 45 million).

Most of NDTV Convergence’s revenues come from the online content business, but e-commerce is on the growth path.

NDTV said Gadgets360.com is the country’s number one technology site with 28 million unique visitors, more than the next five sites put together. It has entered the ranks of the top tech sites in the world.

Carandbike.com is growing rapidly with more than 4 million unique visitors and has become the exclusive auto portal partner for leading manufacturers including Hero, Mahindra and Renault.

Bandbaajaa.com has become the No. 2 wedding site in India within a few months of its launch, and is seeing high conversion rates into transactions, especially in the services space.

Smartcooky.com is the number one food content and commerce site in the country, with nearly 4 million unique visitors. The site has just begun to launch with a catalogue of high-quality healthy food, NDTV said.

According to NDTV, Mojarto.com has become the largest art site in India, with more than 10,000 art works and collectibles.