New Delhi, Delhi, India, March 29, 2007
Hindi news major India TV has attracted a foreign direct investment exceeding $11.5 million (Rs 50.96 crore). The channel shared the information about the approval secured by the inter-ministerial Foreign Investment Proposal Board for an investment by FUSE+Media, an affiliate of leading international venture fund Comventures.
“We are delighted to be the first Indian company to have an investment partner of the pedigree of FUSE+Media. This partnership is an important milestone in our mission to provide the most credible and viewer-oriented television news service in the country,” said Rajat Sharma, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India TV.
“The partnership will strengthen India TV’s strife for editorial excellence and our unmatched connect with viewers of our country,” he added, confirming a slew of programming innovations beginning next month. The group is planning to launch Gujarati and Punjabi news channels within this year.
FUSE+Media has invested in Rajat Sharma’s India TV through Mauritius-based CV Global Holdings.
In a statement, the FIPB has approved “induction of foreign equity by way of issue of convertible preference shares and purchase of shares from the secondary market in India TV, envisaging an inflow of Rs 50.96 crore.”
The investment gives FUSE+Media a 19.17 per cent stake in Independent News Services Pvt. Ltd, which is India TV’s parent company that was co-founded by Rajat Sharma and Ritu Dhawan. The FUSE+Media stake includes shares divested by existing stakeholders of INSPL.
Keyur Patel, CEO and MD, FUSE+Media, said, “We see India TV growing dramatically in the months to come. We studied its fundamentals in great detail and we found a unique opportunity to invest in a news channel with such a clear differentiator. We affirm India TV’s future because of the commitment and quality that we see in the 400-strong team that Rajat Sharma and India TV MD Ritu Dhawan have created in India’s highly competitive Hindi news environment. Under them, we see a channel that has stood its ground and grown irrespective of the financial resources at its command. We admire the way viewers and advertisers have taken to India TV as a news service for the long haul with its unmatched mix of courage, editorial excellence, innovation and stamina.”
“We have no doubt that with new investments, ground-breaking shows like Aap Ki Adalat and Breaking News will now leverage Rajat Sharma’s unique connect with the diaspora and propel India TV into the global orbit,” Patel added.