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HT Media and Next Mediaworks propose merger of radio arms

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

business Updated: Jul 18, 2018 16:44 IST
HT Media,Next Mediaworks,Fever FM
HT Media Ltd owns the popular Hindi radio channels Fever FM and Radio Nasha with a dominant presence across metros and UP.

HT Media Ltd and Next Mediaworks Ltd on Wednesday announced the signing of the binding term sheet for the proposed merger of their radio arms. This arrangement of course is subject to approval of the final scheme by the Board of Directors and Shareholders at both sides along with all the regulatory approvals.

HT Media Ltd owns the popular Hindi radio channels Fever FM and Radio Nasha with a dominant 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 stations in the country. It is proposed to move seven metro stations under the Fever/Nasha brands (Delhi (2), Mumbai (2), Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore) and six radio stations (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune) under the Radio One brand into Next Mediaworks Ltd in a strategic merger that would create a new and already listed radio company. Both the respective Boards, post the final scheme approval over the 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. Pending approval both entities will continue to operate independently under the current management structure.

Announcing the strategic move, Ms. Shobhana Bhartia, Chairperson and Editorial Director, Hindustan Times, 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.”

Enthused to harness the synergies that will emerge, Mr. Tariq Ansari, Chairman, Next Mediaworks Ltd, 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.”

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 16:44 IST