Rajat Sharma, who gathered fame by bringing politicians, film-stars and judges in the dock, in his famous national TV Show, Aap Ki Adalat, is in the buzz to acquire a controlling stake in New Silk Route-backed 9X Media in a deal that could value the company at upwards of Rs 200 crores.
Ritu Dhawan, Sharma’s wife and Rajat Sharma himself, are the largest shareholders of Independent News Service (INS), which owns the popular Hindi news channel India TV. A team from INS is working with private equity fund NSR PArtners to prepare a mutually acceptable shareholders agreement.
Rajat Sharma may seek to partially finance the proposed transaction by raising additional funds from existing investors in INS such as Silicon Valley based media investor Keyur Patel, who owns stakes in INS as well as NDTV through Mauritius based investment firm, CV Global Holdings.
Rajat Sharma has been evaluating opportunities to diversify the business portfolio of INS, which depends entirely on advertising revenue from India TV.
9x Media was founded in 2007 by Peter Mukerjea and Indrani Mukerjea. NSR invested and undisclosed sum in the company in the same year only to see the founders exit in 2009 as the company found itself saddled with losses.
Source – ET