India's Zee to buy TV channels, radio stake from Anil Ambani's Reliance

MUMBAI (REUTERS) - India's Zee media group has agreed to buy television channels and a stake in a radio broadcasting business from billionaire Anil Ambani's Reliance Group in a move that would help the latter cut its debt by about 19 billion rupees ($277 million), the two sides said on Wednesday (Nov 23).

Zee Media Corp Ltd will initially buy a 49 per cent stake in Reliance Group's FM radio business that operates stations in 45 cities and has rights to frequencies for 14 new channels, the two sides said in a joint statement.

Both companies will have a call/put option for the remaining 51 per cent stake after a stipulated lock-in period, they said.

In a separate deal, Zee Entertainment Enterprises will buy two general entertainment channels and four licences to run TV channels from the Reliance Group.

Reliance Capital , which owns the radio and television businesses, will use the proceeds to cut its debt, according to the statement.