India Digest: Zee in talks to acquire 9X Media; Nagarathar community plans $77m fund

Subhash Chandra Chairman, Essel Group & ZEE

Zee Entertainment Enterprises is in talks to acquire 9X Media, while the while the south Indian Nagarathar community is planning to raise a $75 million fund.

Zee in talks to acquire 9X Media

Media conglomerate Zee Entertainment Enterprises is in advanced talks to acquire PE fund New Silk Route-owned 9X Media broadcast network that rund Hindi and regional music channels, according to a report in The Economic Times quoting sources.

The news comes in after talks with Sony, which had signed a letter of intent (LoI) with 9X Media to carry out due diligence, decided to walk out of the negotiations over some legacy taxation issues.

“For Zee, acquisition of 9X Media makes a lot of strategic sense.They have a motion pictures business, a full-fledged broadcast network, a music company and now FM radio, under its belt,“ said one of the sources. “Zee has always been a prudent buyer and 9X Media has been on the block since a long time. Zee will acquire it if the value is right“ .

New Silk Route owns close to 80 per cent stake in 9X Media, has been looking to exit since 2013. 9X Media operates three music channels in Hindi -9XM, 9X Jalwa and 9X Bajao -one in each in English (9XO), Marathi (9X Jhakaas) and Punjabi (9X Tashan). It also has a digital product, SpotboyE, offering Bollywood’s news, gossip, movie reviews and other updates.

South India’s Nagarathar community plans to launch $77m fund

The Nagarathar community of South India is planning to  launch a Rs 500 crore ($77 million) fund to revive entrepreneurship among the community, said a Business Standard report.

The decision was taken at the International Business Conference of Nagarathars held in UAE this week.

According to the news report, the Nagarathar fund would be set up with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore that will be increased to Rs 500 crore in the next five years. The fund, which will be registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, will have five segments: venture capital, angel investment, crowd funding, working capital and B2B.

“Initially we are looking at mobilising money from corporates and individuals within the community,” said Chockalingam Annamalai, a member of the community. He added that five managers, including TiE, would be roped in to manage these funds.

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