Here’s to the big story, HT Media Ltd, one of the legacy news and publishing platforms in India is reportedly projecting plans to acquire the VCCircle.com parent entity Mosaic Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd from News Corp that acquired VCCircle in 2015. News Corp is one of the largest news and information services providers globally that publish leading dailies such as The Wall Street Journal in the US and The Times in the UK.
The news came via VCCircle.com though News Corp hasn’t shared any statement yet. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of next month.
According to VCCircle, the decision for acquisition came as a result of change in India’s foreign investment norms for digital media businesses, which were announced last year. The move restricted foreign investment in digital news media to 26 percent, in line with the FDI policy for print news publications. Prior to this rule, there was no specific restriction on foreign investment in the digital news media business. This had allowed NYSE-listed News Corp to buy 100 percent of Mosaic Media in March 2015 from its founder and other private investors.
Mosaic Media operates online publishing platforms VCCircle.com and Techcircle.in. The company also has a corporate and deals database called VCCEdge, and SalesEdge, a premium content conference business.
In a stock-exchange disclosure, HT Media termed the acquisition as a ‘strategic investment’ to drive synergies across businesses. It said that it expects VCCircle and Techcircle to augment the editorial capabilities of its business daily Mint’s technology and deals content.
On the event business side, HT Media would use its reach to augment VCCircle’s events business as well as scale up the database and research business and unlock cost and revenue synergies.
HT Media said its board approved an investment of up to INR 6 crore () after working capital adjustment, and revenue-linked milestones payment of up to INR 1 crore on a deferred basis, to acquire Mosaic Media. It didn’t share further details on the actual enterprise value of the firm.
Shares of HT Media gained 2.24 percent to close at INR 12.30 apiece in a weak Mumbai market on Wednesday.
Mosaic Media was incorporated in 2007 by PV Sahad. The Delhi-headquartered company has around 125 employees. The company reported revenue of Rs 14.5 crore for the financial year 2019-20, compared with Rs 14 crore for 2018-19 and Rs 9.1 crore for the year before.
VCCircle.com is the pre-eminent source of news, information, data and analysis on alternative investments in India. The platform covers deals, exits, mergers and acquisitions, investors, investments, entrepreneurship, management and strategy. It is the first news website in India to have launched a premium subscription model way back in 2012.
Several newspaper groups, including HT Media, have over time put their news content behind a paywall as a new revenue strategy. Globally, the news business has been moving much more swiftly to a subscription-led business model as the traditional advertisement-led strategy was disrupted in the digital world with the revenue pie getting fragmented and dispersed.