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Network18 Sells Stake in NewsWire18 For Rs 90 Cr To Samara Capital

Network18 has inked a definitive agreement with the private equity firm Samara Capital to offload its entire stake in its financial data and news terminal business NewsWire18 for Rs 90 crore.

The company noted that this divestment is in line with its strategy of offloading non-core assets profitably to focus on its core television and digital business and stated that BMR Advisors acted as the sole transaction adviser to Network18.

As per the agreement, Network18 stated that NewsWire18 will be rebranded over the next 90 days and this transaction is expected to add Rs 70 crore to its consolidated pre-tax profit for the current quarter. Network18 was previously the majority stakeholder in NewsWire18 and held 77.5% stake in the company as of March 31, 2012, as indicated by the Network18’s 2012 annual report.

NewsWire18 provides real time financial news and data terminal services under the brand NewsWire18 WorkStation and offers news and market data platforms for different market segments including fixed income and foreign exchange, equities, commodities, mutual funds among others. It includes data and products from various stock exchanges, third party data vendors and Morningstar Plc (erstwhile Tenfore Pvt. Ltd). The company also claims to provide data feeds for real-time financial and economic data & news which includes corporate and macroeconomic data and related services.

Other products offered by NewsWire18 include Excel based add-ins NW18 MarketWatch and StockScreener, a customized news-only product NewsFlash, a browser based workstation iStation, and a messenger product NW18 Messenger – iPresence. As for clientele, NewsWire18 claims to have most of the mutual funds, insurance companies and almost all commercial banks operating in India as its customers.

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NewsWire18 was incorporated in September 2006 as Livewire Motion Pictures Private Limited. It became Network18’s subsidiary in November 2006 and rebranded to the current avatar in December 2006. In March 2007, NewsWire18 acquired the staff and business of Crisil Market Wire Limited, which the company claims to be India’s first real-time financial news agency and market data platform company. Following this acquisition, Pankaj Aher, the CEO of Crisil Market Wire took over as the CEO of NewsWire18 and the entire Crisil Market Wire team continued in the same capacity in NewsWire18.

NewsWire18 Financials: For the quarter ending September 30, 2012, NewsWire18 had reported revenues of Rs 12.54 crore, which was marginally up from Rs 11.2 crore revenues in the same quarter last year. For the entire fiscal 2012, NewsWire18 had reported revenues of Rs 44.8 crore, up 12.56% from Rs 39.8 crore revenues in FY11.

Other Divestments: In March 2012, Network18 had sold its entire stake in one of its Capital18 investee NetworkPlay to Gruner + Jahr, a media company which is a part of Germany’s Bertelsmann group. Following this, Network18 had also diluted its stake by 20% in movie and event ticketing website BookMyShow, when it raised Rs 100 crore from Accel Partners in August 2012.

Related:

Network18 Reports Rs 37.7 Cr Loss In Digital & E-Commerce For Q2-FY13
Web18 FY12 Revenue Up 14% To Rs 99.4 Cr; HomeShop18 Up 26% To Rs 89.6Cr; Metrics
Network18 & TV18 File For Rights Issue Following RIL Deal

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