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Ministry of information and broadcasting stops sale of Oye FM to ENIL; companies appeal decision


TV Today Network and Entertainment Network (India) Limited (ENIL) have decided to appeal the ministry of information and broadcasting’s recent decision denying the sale of Oye FM radio business to ENIL. The ministry refused to green light the sale saying that proposal did not conform with the FM Radio Guidelines.

In a notification to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), TV Today said that it has received an order from the ministry stopping the sale but the company “reserves its right to seek appropriate legal remedy, as and when required.” In April, TV Today moved the High Court with an urgent writ petition to expedite the sale of its radio stations. ENIL in a separate notification said that both  the companies have decided to appeal against the MIB decision.

Earlier in February, TV Today Network‘s board members have agreed to sell seven stations of its Oye FM to ENIL. TV Today  informed that the company had entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding with ENIL and that the sale is subject to contractual obligations and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals including permissions from the ministry of information and broadcasting.

ENIL, which operates Radio Mirchi, has 32 stations operating in different cities all over India will get access to Oye FM which operates in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jodhpur, Amritsar and Patiala. ENIL managing director Prashant Pandey earlier said that the acquisition is part of the company’s overall expansion plans and will also participate in the phase III FM auctions.  The MIB has received 28 applications for the e-auction of the first batch of Phase III FM Radio channels. This first batch of Phase III auctions comprises of 135 FM radio channels across 69 cities.

It’s worth noting that earlier in 2006, TV Today Network promoter, Living Media, sold the FM radio business under brand Red FM to a consortium of investors and later Kalanithi Maran’s Sun Network bought a stake in the company.

Image source: Flickr user Marite Toledo

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