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Deal volume and value

Deal volume and value in 2015

The number of transactions in the M&E industry decreased from 61 in 2014 to 57 in 2015 with overall deal value decreasing from USD2,380 million to USD1,201 million respectively. The decline in deal value was on account of the USD 1,424 million acquisition of Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd and TV 18 Broadcast Ltd by Reliance Industries Ltd.

The significant themes of investment continued to be portfolio diversification, consolidation and digitalisation.

Sectorial analysis


As a result of TRAI’s restriction on channel aggregation by television broadcasters, major broadcasters are aiming to fill gaps in their assortment of channels by regional consolidation. In line with the aforementioned, Maa Television Network Ltd. sold its broadcasting business to Star India Pvt. Ltd., Nickelodeon Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd. acquired 50 per cent stake in Prism TV Pvt. Ltd. for INR 9,405 million, and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. acquired Sarthak Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
MSOs are yet to show enough monetisation from digitisation. Hence the MSO’s require investment for acquisitions of other MSOs/LCOs, provision of broadband services and working capital requirements. In this regard, Siti Cable Network Ltd. issued fresh equity amounting to INR 2,211 million.
Increase in internet and smartphone penetration has led to a surge in consumption of television and other video contents through mobile apps and internet service leading to an increase in transactions in digital content creation.


As the cost of setting up a new radio station and getting the required licences is high in India, larger players in the radio segment expanded into tier-II and tier-III cities through acquisitions of smaller players. TV Today Network entered into an agreement to sell four radio stations in Jodhpur, Amritsar, Patiala and Shimla to Entertainment Network (India) Ltd for INR40 million.
Further, radio channels are raising funds to migrate from Phase II to Phase III license, upgrade equipment and meet working capital requirements. Next Radio Ltd, which operates radio stations under the brand name Radio One 94.3 FM, raised INR250 million from Rakesh Jhunjhunwala to meet these requirements.
Post the Phase III licence migration, new radio channels would be unable to make changes in majority ownership for three years once they become operational, leading to slowdown in deal activities.


Deal activity in the print media segment was driven by portfolio diversification and digitalisation.
Looking to grow organically, Amar Ujala Publications Ltd. raised INR500 million through a public offering. They would use the funds for expansion of existing printing capacity, purchase hoardings to expand into the OOH segment and invest in the expansion of its digital business.
HT Digital Information Private Ltd. (HDI) acquired the multi-media content management undertaking from Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd.(HMV), allowing HDI to use the content curated by HMV in their Hindi publication ‘Hindustan’ to reach Hindi-speaking audiences through digital platforms, such as their website and other mobile applications.


Transactions in the cinema exhibition space are in line with 2014’s trend of consolidation and regional expansion through mergers and acquisitions. PVR Ltd. acquired DT Cinemas for INR5,000 million, adding 67 screens to their portfolio.
Companies also raised funds to facilitate growth in the number of screens primarily driven by expansion to tier-II and tier-III cities. PVR Ltd. raised equity of INR3,500 million from Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt. Ltd. for such expansion.

Digital/New Media

Strategic investors primarily invested in digital marketing companies and companies focussed on news content aggregation. This consolidation is expected to continue over the next few years, until three or four larger players remain in competition.
In 2015, PE firms continued to fund smaller companies in the digital advertising space, primarily involved in mobile and social media marketing to supplement national growth and expansion into international markets.

Future outlook

Significant growth is expected in the Indian M&E industry over the next few years. In the television space, broadcasters would continue to strengthen their bouquets by acquiring niche channels. Cable operators are likely to seek investments to fund acquisitions and capital expenditure. In the radio and film exhibition segments, the large players would continue to consolidate and emerge as national players, and raise funds to expand in tier-II and tier-III cities.

If the government increases FDI for non-news media to 100 per cent from the current 49 per cent in radio and 74 per cent in television, these segments are expected to gain traction, and investments are likely to increase.

New media businesses, such as digital marketing, and content creators and aggregators, would continue to attract high growth investments from private equities. Companies specialising in imbibing digital platforms into day-to-day life and enhancing user experience are likely to experience an increase in investments.


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