In a major plan to push its digital media business, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd will acquire 49 per cent stake in Webportal Pvt. Ltd and 12.5 per cent stake in a Bangalore-based tech startup Tagos Design Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
The media company will pay $30.7 million to purchase the stake in India Webportal and $2.5 million to acquire a stake in Tagos Design, the company said in a stock-exchange filing.
Tagos Design is an in-video discovery platform. Its products include Charmboad, a platform that allows users to put a visual bookmark within videos, TV and movies. Zee said the stake buy will help grow revenue of its over-the-top video business.
India Webportal is a joint venture between Zee and US digital media publisher Penske Media Corporation. Penske, through MMC Investments Holding Company II Ltd, owns a 44 per cent stake in India Webportal. The remaining 5% is held by Ashok Kurien, a non-executive director at Zee.
The digital media company India Webportal was set up in 2010. It operates a number of websites such as India.com, tech news portal BGR.in, Bollywoodlife.com, Cricketcountry.com, Thehealthsite.com and Oncars.in.
It posted a loss of Rs 13.8 crore on total income of Rs 64.7 crore for the year through March 2017. This compares with a profit of Rs 2.6 crore on total income of Rs 71.7 crore the year before, the filing said.
Besides, Zee Group is on acquisition spree over the past few months. In March this year, Zee Entertainment decided to acquire an 80 per cent stake in tech startup Margo Networks Pvt. Ltd for Rs 75 crore. In November last year, Zee agreed to acquire billionaire Anil Ambani’s radio and television businesses for Rs 1,900 crore including debt.
In February 2016, the group had acquired an 80 per cent stake in two India Today group companies—Today Merchandise Pvt Ltd and Today Retail Network Pvt Ltd. The two companies together run an e-commerce portal Bagittoday.com and a yet-to-launch television shopping channel.
In September, Zee Entertainment entered the radio business with the acquisition of the UAE’s first radio station, Hum 106.2 FM. The deal gave Zee exposure to TV, radio and digital entertainment business in the region