HT Media Ltd and Next Mediaworks Ltd declared the proposed merger of their radio arms according to a release.
HT Media Ltd owns the popular Hindi radio channels Fever FM and Radio Nasha with a leading presence across metros and UP while Next Mediaworks, through its subsidiary Next Radio Ltd operates successful segmented radio stations across the major metros under the Radio One brand, including the only International format station in the country.
It is proposed to move seven metro stations under the Fever/Nasha brands (Delhi (2), Mumbai (2), Kolkata, Chennai & Bangalore) and six radio stations (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore & Pune) under the Radio One brand into Next Mediaworks Ltd in a strategic merger that would create a new and already listed radio company.
Announcing the strategic move, Hindustan Times Chairperson and Editorial Director Ms. Shobhana Bhartia said,
“Radio is a fast-growing segment and research has shown that it has significant urban listenership. Radio One’s merger with our metro operations gives us both a complete bouquet across English and Hindi in all of the country’s biggest radio markets and will help us serve listeners and advertisers better. Such consolidation is another sign of the growing maturity of the radio market. We’re convinced that the merger will add value to all stakeholders. We look forward to working with Radio One to realize our common vision.”
Next Mediaworks Ltd Chairman Mr. Tariq Ansari said,
“We are delighted to be combining our radio operations with the metro stations of HT Media. There is a strong operating logic for this combination – multiple formats in the most lucrative urban markets in the country with all the cost synergies and complementary skills to better service listeners and advertisers. Radio One has exhibited strong competence in building profitable segmented radio stations and HT Media is a powerhouse in the mass radio space. We believe that this merger will unlock value for all stakeholders and look forward to working with the excellent management team at HTML to make this happen.”
Both the respective Boards, post the final scheme approval over next few weeks will seek shareholder approval for the scheme and move it through the regulatory processes of SEBI, NCLT and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Based on the definitive term sheet, HT Media, and its shareholders will hold 74% and Next Radio and Next Mediaworks‘s shareholders will hold 26% in the merged entity.