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ZEEL acquires remaining 49% stake in India.com parent

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) has acquired the remaining 49% stake in subsidiary company India Webportal Private Ltd. (India.com) for Rs 197.18 crore (or $30.7 million), the company informed BSE. India Webportal is joint venture between ZEEL and US-based digital media firm Penske Media Corporation (previously known as Mail.com Media Corporation or MMC). ZEEL will now be buying the remaining stake from existing shareholders MMC Investments Holding Company II Ltd (44%) and Ashok Kurien (5%). The acquisition is expected to be completed within the next 30 days.

India Webportal runs websites such as BGR.in, Bollywoodlife.com and Cricket Country among others. It had reported a revenue of Rs 64.72 crore for the year ended March 31, 2017 (FY17), as compared to a revenue of Rs 64.5 crore in FY16. The company has posted a loss of Rs 13.79 crore in FY17.

While we reported earlier that India Webportal financials showed that it turned profitable last year, MediaNama has learnt that this was due to a one-time income, and that adjusted for this, the company’s revenue has been relatively flat over the last couple years. This was also confirmed in parent conglomerate Zee’s annual report for 2016.

ZEEL has also acquired a 12.5 % stake in Bangalore-based Tagos Design Innovations Pvt. Ltd. (Tagos) for Rs 16.15 crore ($ 2.5 million). Tagos runs the in-video discovery platform Charmboard. The company said that the acquisition of Tagos will help its OTT business. Charmboard lets users explore video by touch, so they can tap their finger or click with any pointing device to interact with a character, location or discover a product within the video.

ZEEL increases stake in Brownpaperbag to 51%

ZEEL, through India Webportal, increased its stake in the website and loyalty card business, Brownpaperbag to 51.04% during FY16. Mansi Poddar, co-founder of Brownpaperbag, had informed MediaNama that ZEE had procured 51% of BPB on October 31, 2015. Zee had increased its shareholding in Brownpaperbag to 38.61% during FY15. During that year, Zee had put in an investment of Rs 2.1 crore in the company.

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(With inputs by Aroon Deep)

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