Zee Entertainment Enterprises said it is acquiring the General Entertainment Broadcasting Business of Reliance Big Broadcasting Private Limited, Big Magic Limited & Azalia Broadcast Private Limited, all part of Anil Ambani led Reliance Group.
The TV Broadcasting business of Reliance Group Entities currently comprises two operational general entertainment channels — BIG Magic and BIG Ganga — and 4 other TV licenses.
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BIG Magic is a Comedy channel catering to Hindi Speaking Markets. BIG Ganga is a leading Bhojpuri entertainment channel catering to audiences in Bihar, Jharkhand and Purvanchal.
The channels are available on all major MSOs and DTH operators.
“The General Entertainment TV Broadcasting business undertaking along with its assets, liabilities, licenses, trademarks etc. shall get demerged from “BIG Magic Ltd”, “Reliance Big Broadcasting Private Ltd” and “Azalia Broadcast Private Ltd” into ZEEL through a court approved scheme,” the company said.
Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEEL said, “We are pleased to announce this acquisition which further adds to our expanding universe of general entertainment channels. BIG Magic gives us access to comedy genre enhancing our customer offerings. BIG Ganga, a leading Bhojpuri channel syncs with our strategy of expanding into the regional markets which offers attractive growth potential. I am confident that these two channels will make the ZEE Network channels more enriching for the audience and for the Company.”
Sam Ghosh, ED and Group CEO, Reliance Capital said, “We are happy to divest 100 per cent of our general entertainment TV business to Zee Entertainment. This transaction is part of our strategy to reduce exposure in non-core businesses and work towards further reducing debt under Reliance Capital.”
The Anil Ambani group, which operates the Reliance Communications telecom operator, is in the midst of an effort to cut down debt. It is in the process of selling its tower assets and real estate. This move too is expected to help it bring its balance sheet into proper shape after a series of spectrum auctions forced the company to take on tens of thousands of crores of debt.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of next calendar year. Acquisory Consulting LLP and KPMG are acting as financial and tax advisors to ZEEL and the fairness opinion has been provided by IDBI Capital Markets.