In a recent buzz, it is been ascertained that Zee Entertainment Enterprises is in its final stages of discussion to acquire 9X Media broadcast network that possess a grasp of Hindi regional music channels.
Zee is quite involved in obtaining the right 9X Media, which is currently owned by private equit fund New Silk Route, "at a right value" as it makes a lot of strategy intelligence for the company, disclosed people close to the development told ET.
"For Zee, acquisition of 9X Media makes a lot of strategic sense.They have a motion pictures business, a full-fledged broadcast network, a music company and now FM radio, under its belt," one of the sources revealed on condition of secrecy. "Zee has always been a prudent buyer and 9X Media has been on the block for a long time.Zee will acquire it if the value is right," the person said.
The sources familiar with the deal did not revealed any probable assessment for the planned deal, but a media analyst said the 'right valuation' for Zee could be less than 220 crore that Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) had decided to sell out for 9X Media last year, before the talks fell through.
New Silk Route (NSR), which owns close to 80 per cent stake in 9X Media, has been looking to exit since 2013 as it first invested in the company, and then known as INX Media, over 10-years back.
Many industry experts ascertained that the recent move by New Silk Route could be for cutting its losses. Further, an NSR representative rejected to remark, saying that the company does not comment on market speculations.
However, none of the company commented, a 9X Media spokesperson also refused to comment. Himanshu Mody, head of group finance & strategy at Essel Group, did not reply to ET's calls and text messages as of press time on Wednesday.
9X Media operates three music channels in Hindi -9XM, 9X Jalwa and 9X Bajao -one in each in English (9XO), Marathi (9X Jhakaas) and Punjabi (9X Tashan). It also has a digital product, SpotboyE, offering Bollywood's news, gossip, movie reviews and other updates.