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HDIL buys 51% in Adhikari firms

HDIL buys 51% in Adhikari firms

Author | Source: Business Standard | Wednesday, Jun 25,2008 8:23 AM

HDIL buys 51% in Adhikari firms

Making a foray into broadcasting space, city-based property developer HDIL has bought 51 per cent stake each in Sri Adhikari Brothers-promoted Broadcast Initiative (BIL) and two of its subsidiaries.

HDIL did not disclose the amount paid for the stake in BIL and its subsidiaries Sri Adhikari Brothers Media (SABML), which operates Marathi channel Mi Marathi, and Technocraft Media (TMPL), which is starting a Bhojpuri channel soon.

The property developer will acquire the stake in BIL, which runs Hindi news channel Live India, through a mix of fresh issue of preferential shares, equity shares from promoters and subsequent open offer.

Sri Adhikari Brothers will retain a balance shareholding which may be up to 24 per cent post acquisition of majority stake by HDIL, HDIL said in a release today.

HDIL is acquiring 51 per cent in both SABML and TMPL through a mix of fresh issue of capital in the two firms and purchase of equity shares from existing shareholders of the two broadcasting firms.

HDIL, part of Wadhawan group which has varied interests such as housing finance and retail among others, has entered into film exhibition by floating new company HDIL Entertainment, which has rolled out multiplexes under Broadway brand in Mumbai.

HDIL has also ventured into oil and gas exploration by launching HDIL Energy to bid for oil exploration projects in the country.

"HDIL already has an entertainment company which has launched multiplexes in Mumbai. We believe that today's annoucement is in line with its entertainment plans. It remains to be seen how broadcasting business will gel with their film exhibition plans," said an anlayst with a leading Mumbai brokerage, who did not wish to be quoted.

Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, chairman of HDIL, said, "The acquisition of 51 per cent stake in BIL, SABML and TMPL is part of the group's long term strategy of becoming a significant player in the fast growing media and entertainment space. This will prove to be an ideal entry point for the group, because of the vast media experience of Adhikari Brothers."

"Our future plan is to create a bouquet of regional news and entertainment channels and to become a leading media conglomerate by entering into other assets such as film production, distribution, studio facilities etc," he added.

Markand Adhikari, vice-chairman and managing director of Broadcast Initiatives, said, "The partnership puts us on a new and much stronger platform to harness our capabilities and cope with the increasing competition in the national and regional broadcasting segment. Sri Adhikari Brothers' core strength lies in its creative abilities but to face the other players in the broadcasting segment, we needed to partner with a strong and aggressive player like HDIL Group to put us into a new orbit and achieve sustainable growth in the medium and long term."

While BIL shares closed at Rs 30.75 on Tuesday on the BSE, nearly 3.19 per cent higher than Monday's close, HDIL stock went down 4.22 per cent to close at Rs 470.45.

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