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Kochhar, Luthra sell NDTV Lifestyle to Americans


Luthra & Luthra's and Kochhar & Co's Delhi offices have advised on the 69 per cent acquisition of NDTV Lifestyle by US company Scripps Networks Interactive for Rs 254.5 crores ($55m).

Luthra & Luthra managing partner Rajiv Luthra, senior associates Shishir Jose Vayttaden and Monica Datta and associate Kanika Chaudhary led the team for NDTV (New Delhi Television Limited) and its subsidiary NDTV Lifestyle.

The firm has a very close relationship with NDTV, having advised the channel on its defence against in the so-called RK Anand and IU Khan BMW hit-and-run case.

Kochhar & Co Delhi corporate partner Janmejay Rai, senior associate Anuradha Sharma and associate Indrani Lahiri led the Indian law transactional team for Cincinnati based Scripps.

A separate team consisting of Kochhar senior associates Gaurav Sarin and Richa Singh completed the US company's due diligence on the Indian TV channel.

New York firm Pepper Hamilton partner Valerie Demont was the international counsel for the sellers and Baker Hostetler partner Steven H. Goldberg acted for the buyers.

NDTV announced its decision to sell majority stake in the group’s lifestyle programming subsidiary to Scripps on 19 November, while retaining 31 per cent stake in the joint venture.

It is understood that this strategic partnership is the result of an international plan for expansion of Scripps business, which is to provide lifestyle-oriented content for television and internet. The transaction is likely to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2010.

The disposal will also enable NDTV to bulk up its balance sheet and repurchase Rs 464 crore ($100m) worth of bonds that were due in 2012.

NDTV Lifestyle is operated by NDTV Good Times, which is India's top-ranked English-language lifestyle TV channel.

Lawyers from Luthra & Luthra and Kochhar & Co declined to comment.

Photo by A3R

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