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TV Today Network completes acquisition of Mail Today and India Today Online

TV Today Network, which owns news channels Aaj Tak and India Today TV (previously Headlines Today), has completed the acquisition of its sister concern Mail Today Newspapers Private Limited from its parent company Living Media Ltd. Mail Today was started as a joint venture between Living Media India and UK-based Daily Mail. The Daily Mail had owned around 26% stake in the company, which was the limit for FDI in newspapers in India.

In 2013, TV Today had invested Rs 45.52 crore for a minority stake in Mail Today through direct subscription and purchases from existing shareholders. In December last year, when the company announced plans to acquire Mail Today, it said that “the total fair value loss (under Ind AS) in connection with the investment in Mail Today shares presently held by the Company, amounted to Rs 42.30 crores.” Essentially, it wrote most of its investment off.

According to filings, Mail Today had an authorised capital of Rs 135 crore, and a turnover of Rs 40.43 crore, and loss of Rs 6.01 crore for FY16. Its turnover for FY15 was Rs 35.31 crore, and FY14 was Rs 41.72 crore. In its last earnings filing, TV Today says “Mail Today is of strategic importance to the company and could bring significant content sharing synergies to the company.”

Here’s how the acquisition transaction has worked:
– Living Media India Limited (the parent company), owned 66.78% (valued at Rs 26.80 crores) of the total equity shares of Mail Today through its wholly owned subsidiary India Today Online Private Limited
– Living Media has transferred all the equity shares of India Today Online to TV Today Network as a gift.
– AN (Mauritius) Limited, the other shareholder of Mail Today, would transfer its 25.21% shareholding (valued at 10.12 crores) in Mail Today to TV Today. This was completed on March 15th 2017.

With this, Mail Today (valued at Rs 36.92 crores in December 2016) has become a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Today.

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Note that yesterday, TV Today announced that ITOPL has 21.01% to Living Media India Limited, against the loans and advances made by Living Media to ITOPL, and TV Today has entered into an agreement to this stake from LMIL, by way of gift, upon completion of procedural requirements under the agreement to gift.

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For the 9 months ended December 31st 2016, TV Today reported revenues of Rs 408 crores, and a net profit of around Rs 71 crores. Much of its money comes from its TV broadcasting business.

Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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