Samara Capital acquires stake in NewsWire18 for Rs 90 crore

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | December 03, 2012
NewsWire18 will also be rechristened over the next 90 days.

Network18 has divested its entire stake in the financial data and news terminal business NewsWire18 to Samara Capital, an entrepreneurially run India-focused private equity firm.


Samara Cap

Network18 was the majority shareholder in NewsWire18. It has divested its entire stake for a total consideration of Rs 90 crore. The transaction is expected to add about 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.

In an official communiqué, Raghav Bahl, managing director, Network18, says, "The divestiture of Newswire18 is a reflection of our commitment to profitably monetise non-core assets for the benefit of our shareholders and to also facilitate the growth of these businesses to the next level."

Network 18 has been focused in exiting its non-core businesses in 2012. To begin with, it got out of Network Play, the digital ad network it had funded by selling its stake to the German publishing giant, Bertelsmann. More recently, it exited BookMyShow, its extremely successful online ticketing business. The NewsWire 18 is the third deal and is part of a clear pattern of disinvestment.


Paurush Roy, managing director, Samara India Advisors, says, "We believe the information services market in India is at the cusp of significant growth and provides for exciting opportunities." NewsWire18, he thinks, is well positioned to capture this opportunity.

This is the second transition for the founders, Pankaj Aher and KalyanramKodakalla, who first started CRISIL MarketWire in 2001 and subsequently set up NewsWire18 with Network18 in 2006.

Speaking about this partnership, Aher says, "We were looking for a partner to provide growth capital to drive the next stage of our journey. In Samara, we have found a partner who believes in our vision."

For the record, Samara Capital has interests in companies such as Flemingo Duty Free, Thriveni Earthmovers, Monte Carlo Fashions, Thyrocare Technologies and Ratnakar Bank, among others. BMR Advisors acted as the sole transaction advisor for the deal. Finsight Financial Advisors assisted the NewsWire18 founding team on the transaction.

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