ZMCL's radio business deal with RBNL called off

The Rs 1592 crore worth deal did not progress due to the delay in securing clearance from the MIB and Home Ministry

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Nov 29, 2018 7:45 AM Updated: Nov 29, 2018 7:45 AM
ashok venkatramani

Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL)’s entry into the radio space is for now a distant dream as it has called off its deal with the Anil Ambani owned Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL). The deal was estimated to be valued at Rs 1592 crore.

“That has not progressed; for a long period it was awaiting clearance from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Home Ministry which had to be obtained and because the period for which the clearance was expected exceeded the initial MoU, there has been no progress on that.  Technically it’s called off because there is no progress,” said Ashok Venkatramani, MD, ZMCL, to the analysts recently during an earnings conference call.

In 2016, RBNL signed definitive and binding agreements with ZMCL to sell its 49 per cent stake in its radio broadcast business with the option to sell the balance 51 per cent stake after the three year lock-in period. The transactions were expected to be complete by 2017.

If cleared, ZMCL would have had access to one of India’s biggest radio operators Big FM. The radio operator didn’t respond to our requests for a comment.  

When asked if ZMCL has started searching for alternatives, the MD declined, stating, “Yes, we have been (searching) in the past as well for the right assets. But, nothing concrete at this stage."

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