Rajat Sharma takes INS value to Rs 5 billion


Mumbai: Rajat Sharma has announced a strategic investment of Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crores) in Independent News Service Private Limited (INS), the holding company of India TV.

The investment has taken Sharma-led INS’s enterprise valuation to Rs 5 billion (Rs 500 crores), up a whopping 86 per cent from Rs 2.70 billion (Rs 270 crores) in just nine months.

The Rs 1 billion investment for a 20 per cent stake in INS has been made by Shyam Equities Private Limited, a 100 per cent Indian entity, based in Bangalore. Accordingly, the foreign individual, foreign company, NRI, OCB, FII and PIO holding in INS has remained at earlier levels.

The investment information has been filed with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Sharma said, “The excitement over the strategic growth blue print that will be executed 2008.” The blue print, he said, includes large investments in key strategic areas beyond India TV. This includes a bouquet of channels, a distribution blitz in key international markets, and a significant entry into non-news and non-television media.

In March last year Fuse+ Media, an entity of ComVentures, a leading Silicon Valley-based venture capital and private equity group with over $1.5 billion of assets under management, had placed an equivalent of Rs 509 million (Rs 50.9 crore) of FDI in INS for a 19.17 per cent stake, taking INS’s enterprise value to Rs 2.70 billion.