The Network18 Group announced that it has entered into an agreement to dilute its majority stake in India’s premier entertainment ticketing website - Bookmyshow.com. This is in line with its stated objective of reducing stakes in digital and other non-broadcasting assets to create value for the Network18 shareholders and allow infusion of growth capital in these assets to propel them to the next stage.
Network18 was the majority shareholder in Bigtree Entertainment Private Limited, the holding company of the entertainment ticketing website BookMyShow.com, holding a 60% stake. Post the closure of the transaction with Accel Partners announced today, Network18 will continue to be the single largest shareholder in the company with a 40% stake. Accel Partners, one of the leading global investors in Internet businesses will invest Rs.1bn into the business. The secondary stake sale by Network18, post consummation will add Rs. 0.45bn to Network18’s pre-tax profit.
Announcing the transaction, Raghav Bahl, Managing Director, Network18 said that, “After a phase of investment in building our digital and other non-broadcasting businesses, we believe that many of these assets have reached an inflection point and can now help in creating value for all our stakeholders. The dilution in one of our premier digital commerce assets – bookmyshow.com is a reflection of our commitment to profitably monetize these assets for the benefit of our shareholders and also facilitate the growth of these businesses to the next level. We are confident that the Indian Digital Story is just beginning and many of the digital commerce and content assets like bookmyshow.com, Homeshop18, the content properties under Web18 and the Capital18 investee companies; that we have nurtured over the past decade are now on track for the next phase of their growth journey.”
Commenting on the deal, Sai Kumar, Group CEO, said, “Bookmyshow.com is today synonymous with entertainment ticketing and in many ways defines the genre. Besides movie and play tickets which remain a mainstay, the company is an exclusive ticketing partner for several leading sporting franchises in India including Formula 1 and the Indian Premier League (5 of the 9 franchises) .We take great pride and pleasure in having been a part of this wonderful growth story in the digital space. We will continue to partner with bookmyshow.com as they embark on the next phase of their journey and build the business in a manner that will befit one of India’s best e-commerce teams. The digital teams across Network18 and I are very excited by the opportunity that the impending Indian digital revolution presents to us to create and monetize the promised value for all our stakeholders.”
The stake sale at Bookmyshow.com is the second in a series of asset monetization transactions by Network18. Earlier during the year, Network18 had profitably sold its stake in one of the Capital18 investee companies – NetworkPlay to Bertelsmann. The Network18 group operates a portfolio of digital content and e-commerce assets including moneycontrol.com, ibnlive.com, in.com, firstpost.com and HomeShop18.com. Network18 also holds a minority stake in Yatra – one of India’s leading travel booking destinations.