HT Media, the publisher of Hindustan Times and Mint, has acquired Mosaic Media Ventures Private Limited from its holding company, US based News Corp.
New Delhi based HT Media publishes Hindustan Times and Mint. NewDelhi based Mosaic Media is in charge of the business news platform VCCircle and tech news portal TechCircle. New York based News Corp publishes leading dailies such as The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, and The Times.
As stated in the BSE filing, HT Media has acquired 100% paid-up share capital of Mosaic held for INR 7 Cr (US$ 935K) by News Corporation and NWS Digital Asia PTE Limited. According to the deal, the board of HT Media has approved a payment of INR 6 Cr post-working capital adjustment. Additionally, a revenue linked milestone payment up to INR 1 Cr on a deferred basis will be included. The entire transaction is expected to be completed before the end of August.
About Mosaic Media
Founded in in 2007 by Sahad PV, Mosaic Media Ventures operates news portals and event business. The thirteen-year-old company also runs businesses like corporate and deals database called VCCEdge and research-driven platform called SalesEdge.
HT Media noted in the BSE fillings that Mosaic Media Ventures had registered INR 14 Cr revenue in FY19 and INR 9.1 Cr in FY18. The company has reported a revenue of INR 14.5 Cr in the financial year 2020, ending March. Currently, it has around 125 employees.
Details about the acquisition
This acquisition will be a strategic deal for HT as it will look to drive synergies to scale VCCircle and TechCircle to augment its business news platform Mint’s tech and deal content editorial capabilities. Besides this, it will also help VCCircle to boost its event business, scale-up database and research business and unlock new cost and revenue synergies by leveraging HT’s reach.
According to sources aware of the development, the acquisition was a distress deal for Mosaic. Its interesting how Mosaic reportedly brought by News Corp. in 2015 for US$ 3M sold at US$ 935K to HT.
This could be due to a fallout of the government’s bid to clip the wings of digital media and news outlets by restricting foreign direct investment (FDI) limit for digital media to 26%. This change in government’s policy was a U-turn from the earlier policy. The earlier policy had no caps in the digital news space and 100% FDI was allowed through the automatic route. Previously, the complete acquisition of digital media businesses was permitted without the approval of the government.
According to some sources, News Corp was also looking to retain some part of the stake.