ZEE Network set to buy 9X flagship channel

Raj Baddhan

Senior Editor


ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), is set to acquire Hindi entertainment channel 9X.

The channel currently belongs to the loss-making INX Media Pvt Ltd. If the deal goes ahead, ZEE Network is expected to pay around Rs 65 crore for the channel.

The synergies from the deal are unlikely to be significant from a content and viewership point of view, but there could be implied tax benefits, besides an additional channel licence in times of tight government approvals, said DNA India sources.

9X owes around Rs 130 crore to creditors, who are expected to take a substantial haircut and okay the transfer of ownership. The INX management is expected to pitch in with some money of their own over and above the Zee funds to seal the deal with the creditors, who are expected to agree considering the options they have.

INX Media will be left with just the music channel, 9XM. Both 9X and 9XM exited from the UK last year after an uncertain future.

Today, Bhupendra Makhi, Vice President Finance of INX Media , said, “INX Media is working on a restructuring plan. Part of this initiative includes continuing and growing the music and other niche genres and discussions with the Company’s creditors to come to a settlement on outstanding dues. Discussions with ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) is part of this process.”