INX Network, owned by Indrani Mukherjea, wife of ex-Star Group CEO Peter Mukherjea, plans to raise around Rs 600 crore by selling stake in its entertainment subsidiary INX Media, to fund the company’s expansion plan.
INX operates Hindi entertainment channel 9X and Hindi music channel 9XM.
“We may consider roping in either a strategic or financial partner and are in talks with both domestic and international companies,” said Mukherjea, founder & CEO, INX Media. The promoters – Indrani and Peter Mukherjea – together hold 50 per cent while the balance is held by private equity firms Temasek Holdings, New Silk Route, New Vernon Private Equity Fund, Kotak Mahindra Capital and Srei. It is believed that all the stakeholders will offload their stakes in equal proportion.
It is a little less than a year since INX Network started operations in the television space and is now gearing up to launch 10 new channels, both in the entertainment (through INX Media) and news genre (through its subsidiary INX News). Mukherjea said the company will launch seven channels under INX Media – an additional Hindi general entertainment channel, a second Hindi music channel and three regional music channels.
The three regional general entertainment channels will be in Bengali, Marathi and Punjabi, while the music channels will be in Gujarati, Bengali and Punjabi.
Under INX News, the subsidiary under which it operates English news channel News X, the company will launch two metro news channels in Delhi and Mumbai to begin with. And for all this, INX is investing just around Rs 80 crore (for ten channels).
“We are looking at a cost-effective model which will give high return on investments. However, we cannot divulge the details at this stage,” Mukherjea added. The channels will pan out post January 2009.
Going forward, INX will launch eight more channels by 2010-11. Mukherjea said the company will add more metro channels, English and Hindi channels, primarily entertainment-based such as movies.