Ambarish Mukherjee

New Delhi, Nov. 22

BBC Worldwide, a subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation, is on the prowl. After setting up a joint venture company with the Times of India group last winter for publishing magazines, the company has now finalised plans to establish its footprint in the Indian FM radio industry.

BBC Worldwide is all set to pick up a 20-per cent stake in Mumbai-based Radio Mid-Day West (India) Private Ltd.

The British company has sought permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board for moving ahead with its investment plans.

Only last Thursday the Government notified its policy of allowing up to 20 per cent FDI in FM radio. Earlier, only portfolio investments were allowed. BBC Worldwide has specified in its application that it would take only the FDI route for investing in Radio Mid-Day, officials said.

Sources said that, in the application, both the sides had informed that the pricing was being discussed between the two parties, and it was being calculated on the basis of the valuation norms prescribed by the RBI and had informed the Government that they are doing so.

The Indian joint venture partners, the Times of India group too is believed to have communicated their no objection to BBC Worldwide's radio venture, officials said.

Radio Mid-Day currently runs an FM radio station in Mumbai and is in the process of bidding for broadcasting licenses in various categories and circles.

Radio Mid-Day West is a 100-per cent subsidiary of Mid-Day Multimedia that brings down the afternoon daily called Mid-Day in Mumbai and Delhi, and is one of the first media companies to go public.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 23, 2005)
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