TV Today scrip soars on buzz of Birla buying into Living Media

For the nine-month ended December 31,2011,the company reported a total income of Rs 224.75 crore.

Written by Ashish Sinha | Published: April 10, 2012 9:08 am

The TV Today Network scrip soared 15.23% on Monday on unconfirmed reports that the $35-billion Aditya Birla Group may buy around 25% stake in Living Media,which promotes TV Today among others. The scrip almost touched its 52-week high of R71 on a day when the benchmark BSE Sensex lost 264 points.

The TV Today Network,which beams news channels like Aaj Tak and Headlines Today,is India’s second-largest listed news media company.

According to BSE data,trading in the scrip jumped around 11 AM and continued through the trading hours after buzz of Aditya Birla Group’s interest in TVTN began. The scrip opened at R59.10 and touched a monthly high of R69.70 before closing at R68.10.

FE could not independently verify the veracity of the news. In response to an email query,an Aditya Birla Group spokesperson said: “In line with our policy,we do not comment on market stories.” An e-mail query,repeated phone calls and text messages to senior TV Today executives remained unanswered.

Monday’s closing price values TV Today at R404 crore. For the fiscal ended March 31,2011,revenues stood at R293.26 crore,with a net profit of R12.42 crore.

For the nine-month ended December 31,2011,the company reported a total income of Rs 224.75 crore,up around 4% compared with the same period year ago. Promoters currently command a little over 60% stake while domestic institutional investors,corporate bodies and others hold the rest.

TV Today is the only listed company in the Living Media group.

The Aditya Birla Group operates in sectors like viscose staple fibre,metals,cement,viscose filament yarn,branded apparel,carbon black,chemicals,fertilisers,insulators,financial services,telecom,BPO and IT services. It has no footprint in media.

The news gains significance following Reliance Industries\’s recent acquisition of a large stake in Network18 Group,which operates news channels like CNBC-TV18,CNBC Awaaz and entertainment channels including Colors and MTV. In December last year,Oswal GreenTech,a Delhi-based chemicals and fertilisers company,had acquired 14.17% in broadcaster NDTV.

“With digitisation,there will be a surge in subscription revenue of established channels and lower dependence on advertising income. Such a situation lends stability to the broadcasting business and that is the main reason why everyone is interested in it,” said a senior executive of a leading consultancy firm.

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