Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) has acquired a 100% equity in 9X Media and its subsidiary INX Music, which was previously owned by private equity firm New Silk Route. The all-cash transaction worth Rs 160 crore saw ZEEL acquiring 91,453,000 shares of Rs 10 each of 9X Media from its existing shareholders at Rs 155.20 crore, apart from 1,339,556 shares valued at Rs 10, amounting to Rs 4.80 crore. Following the acquisition, 9X Media will become a wholly owned subsidiary of ZEEL.
9X Media operates five music channels. Of these, three are Hindi music channels – Hindi 9XM, 9X Jalwa and 9X Bajao, while 9XO is an English music channel and 9X Jhakaas is a Marathi music channel. The company’s subsidiary, INX Music, also runs a Punjabi music channel — 9X Tashan. Moreover, it has a digital product, SpotboyE, with Bollywood’s news, gossip, movie reviews and other updates — which is also a part of the transaction.
On completion of the acquisition, these channels will be added to ZEEL’s current bouquet of 33 channels. As per the company, the acquisition is in line with the company’s strategy to cater to diverse audience by offering targeted product. The company claims that these channels will complement the music label and movie production businesses.
“Continuing with our strategy of expanding into regional markets and niche genres, this acquisition will strengthen our music portfolio. 9X channels enjoy leading market share in their respective segments and will benefit immensely from our network’s strength to achieve higher growth potential and cost synergies,” said Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, ZEEL.
According to the Ficci-KPMG Media report, the music industry, which was valued at Rs 1,220 crore, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.8% to reach Rs 2,540 crore by 2021. Currently, digital music contributes to 70% of the revenue.
Zee as a media group has been very active in mergers and acquisitions over the last one year. Besides acquiring a 49% stake in Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Broadcast Network’s radio business Big FM in November last year, Zee Group recently sold its sports broadcasting business – Taj Television – which operated Ten Sports set of channels to Sony Pictures Networks India for $385 million.