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TV Today Network to fully acquire Mail Today

MUMBAI: TV Today Network, which owns and operates news channels Aaj Tak and India Today TV, will have a print presence with the acquisition of English daily Mail Today.

The company will acquire the remaining stake in Mail Today Newspapers Pvt Ltd from its other shareholders Living Media India, which is the holding company, and AN (Mauritius) Ltd.

Mail Today, a joint venture between Living Media India and UK-based Daily Mail, will thus become a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Today Network.

Living Media India acts as a holding company for promoter Aroon Purie’s media business. This includes TV Today Network, a listed company that controls the group’s broadcasting assets. The promoter holding in TV Today Network is 57.42% as of 31 March 2016.

TV Today Network, which is selling its entire radio business, is in the process of acquiring the remaining stake in Mail Today. An independent valuer has already submitted its report and has stated that the valuation of Mail Today has declined.

The company had acquired a stake in Mail Today in the earlier years based on independent valuation through direct subscription and purchase from existing shareholders at a cost of Rs 45.52 crore (Rs 455.2 million).

In a recent report by an independent valuer, the valuation of shares of Mail Today has seen a decline. The valuation of TV Today’s stake in Mail Today has declined to Rs 42.25 crore following a valuation exercise carried out by the company.

Living Media and AN (Mauritius) Ltd have agreed to transfer their existing shares to TV Today Network without any monetary consideration.

The reduction in the value of the company’s investment in Mail Today after acquiring the remaining shareholding without any monetary consideration, is Rs 5.30 crore (Rs 53 million).

Though Mail Today is a loss-making venture, it is close to achieving operational break-even.

According to TV Today Network, Mail Today is of strategic value to the company as it has a team of journalists generating original content.

After the sale of the radio business, TV Today Network will be engaged in news broadcasting while the print business in the form of Daily Mail will be housed in a subsidiary. The company has already sold four non-metro FM stations to Entertainment Network (India) Ltd (ENIL), the operator of Radio Mirchi, for Rs 4 crore (Rs 40 million). For the sale of the remaining three stations in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, TV Today and ENIL are fighting a legal battle against the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

Meanwhile, TV Today Network’s standalone net profit in the fiscal fourth quarter zoomed 74.2% to Rs 15.12 crore (Rs 151.2 million). In the same quarter of the previous fiscal, the net profit stood at Rs 8.7 crore (Rs 87 million).

Net sales stood at Rs 140.2 crore (Rs 1.4 billion) in the quarter ended 31 March 2016, up 22.9% from Rs 114.2 crore (Rs 1.14 billion) in the prior-year quarter.

Expenses increased by 10.8% to Rs 124.9 crore (Rs 1.25 billion) from Rs 112.7 crore (Rs 1.13 billion) in Q4 of FY15.

Production cost was Rs 19.14 crore (Rs 191.4 million) as against Rs 11.45 crore (Rs 114.5 million). Advertisement, distribution and sales promotion remained flat at Rs 32.94 crore (Rs 329.4 million) from Rs 32.63 crore (Rs 326.3 million).

On a full-fiscal basis, the company reported a net profit of Rs 94.3 crore (Rs 943 million), up 16.4% to Rs 81 crore (Rs 810 million) in FY15.

Net sales grew 14.2% to Rs 542.1 crore (Rs 5.42 billion) in FY16 compared to Rs 474.7 crore (Rs 4.75 billion) a year ago.

Expenses jumped 14.76% to Rs 430.24 crore (Rs 4.3 billion) in FY16 from Rs 374.9 crore (Rs 3.75 billion) in the year-ago period. Production cost on an annualised basis stood at Rs 58.71 crore (Rs 587.1 million) compared to Rs 54.46 crore (Rs 544.6 million).

Advertisement, distribution and sales promotion grew 17.46% to Rs 119.52 crore (Rs 1.2 billion) from Rs 101.75 crore (Rs 1.02 billion) in FY15.

TV Today’s board has recommended a final dividend of Rs 1.75 per share for 2015-16.

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