Network18 sells ‘non-core’ Newswire18 to Samara Capital
By A Correspondent
Network18 has announced that it is selling its entire stake in financial data and news terminal provider NewsWire18 to private equity firm Samara Capital.
This is in line with its stated objective of divesting non-core assets profitably to allow greater focus on its core television and digital businesses.
Network18 was the majority shareholder in NewsWire18, having incubated the company with the founding CEO, Pankaj Aher and his team. The total transaction will result in proceeds of Rs 90 crore for Network18 in consideration for divesting its entire stake in the business. The transaction is expected to add approximately Rs 70 crore to Network18’s consolidated pre-tax profit for the current quarter. NewsWire18 will also be rechristened over the next 90 days as a result of the transaction.
Announcing the transaction, Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, Network18 said that, “The divestiture of Newswire18, India’s leading financial data and news terminal business is a reflection of our commitment to profitably monetize non-core assets for the benefit of our shareholders and to also facilitate the growth of these businesses to the next level. We are proud to have partnered with NewsWire18 in its journey thus far and are confident that Pankaj and his team will continue to excel and build one of the finest financial data businesses in India.”
Commenting on the deal, Sai Kumar, Group CEO, said, “In a few short years, NewsWire18 has grown into a leader in its space and we take great pride and pleasure in having written this wonderful growth story. The growth at NewsWire18 is a reflection of Network18’s business building skills and the value that our network eco-system brings to a business. We would like to give Pankaj and his team and Samara Capital our best wishes as they embark on the next phase of their journey.”
Said Paurush Roy, Managing Director at Samara India Advisors Pvt. Ltd. said, “We believe the information services market in India is at the cusp of significant growth and provides for exciting opportunities. NewsWire18 is well positioned to capture this opportunity because of its strong market position in India, understanding of the local market, customer centricity, and above all its world class and committed management team.”
Samara Capital’s investments include companies such as Flemingo Duty Free, Thriveni Earthmovers, Monte Carlo Fashions, Thyrocare Technologies, Ratnakar Bank among others. The divestment of NewsWire18 forms a part of a series of asset monetization transactions by Network18. Earlier this year, Network18 had profitably sold its stake in one of the Capital18 investee companies NetworkPlay and then partially diluted its stake in India’s premier Digital Commerce asset Bookmyshow.com. BMR Advisors acted as the sole transaction adviser. Finsight Financial Advisors assisted the NewsWire18 founding team on the transaction.