Hyderabad : PVP Group owned by the Hyderabad-based serial entrepreneur Prasad V Potluri and promoters of NewsX had expresses interest to acquire the Associated Broadcasting Company, which owns a network of news channels under the brand TV9.
Majority stakes of TV9 are owned by iLabs Capital, which holds a 60% stake, while Asia-focused private equity fund SAIF Partners has minority shares in the company. Mumbai-based Edelweiss Capital is running the sale process.
Earlier, Rumours were rife couple of months ago that Sun TV had acquired TV9 for 290 Cr, which was denied by both the Media Groups later.
Reports from people closely associated with the current deal states that the bidders valued the Associated Broadcasting Company at around Rs 400 Crore which was much attractive than any previous offers placed before TV9.
The bidders are Information TV (ITV) Network, which owns English and Hindi news channels NewsX and India News respectively and a syndicate led by Potluri placed their interests, as the News Group ITV is looking to expand in South.
It may be noted that the 44 years old ITV Group founder and NewsX editor-in-chief Jehangir Pocha had died of Cardiac arrest last week and it is unclear, whether his sudden demise will have any impact on the deal.
When contacted, ITV’s CEO for broadcasting said that the group was looking to expand to southern markets but denied their talks with TV9.
The 10-year-old TV9 network is said to have a strong foot hold in news broadcasting in Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam and English. It operates some of the channels through JVs also.
Associated Broadcasting Company, buoyed by this year’s political campaign spends on mass media advertising, revived its sale plans after shelving it three years ago.
Potluri, through his PVP Ventures Ltd, invests in real estate, media, sports and entertainment. He is one of the largest film financiers down south and owns sports teams in Indian Badminton League and co-owns Indian Football League team along with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
PVP in its new age investment plans had unsuccessfully bid for IPL team Decca Chargers, which was owned by DCHL.