Zee Entertainment board approves merger of ETC Networks

MUMBAI: The Board of directors of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) granted an in-principle approval for merger of ETC Networks Limited (ETC), a listed subsidiary of the company with the company and upon such merger, demerges the education business from the company into a separate company.

Currently, ETC is a 50.18% subsidiary of ZEEL and is listed on the BSE and NSE stock exchanges of India, with business interests spanning over broadcasting and education.

Within the broadcasting venture the company operates two music channels -ETC Music and ETC Punjabi. The education operations of ETC span across child education and youth vocational training business, through multiple products such as Kidzee, Kidzee High, Kidzcare, Zee Institute of Media Arts (ZIMA), Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA) and Zee Career Academy (ZCA). In FY 2009, the broadcasting operations registered revenues of Rs 415 million while the education operations registered revenues of Rs 251 million.

ZEEL CEO Punit Goenka said, "This year the company has taken active steps to consolidate its offerings, thus ensuring a greater focus on building a complete core-entertainment bouquet. The ETC channels have for long been leaders in their respective genres and with niche channels coming forth in a digital environment, this consolidation is another step towards ensuring a stronger future. We are confident that development would help create value for shareholders of Zee."

The said merger / demerger shall be under a Composite Scheme of Arrangement, under Section 391 to 394 of the Companies Act, 1956, subject to appropriate statutory and regulatory approvals and the demerged entity shall be listed at the stock exchanges where the Company’s shares are listed. The Board of Directors, at a meeting scheduled on 29 December , 2009 shall inter alia consider the detailed composite scheme of arrangement.