2:10 am - Wednesday November 4, 2015

RIL to acquire controlling stake in Network 18

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In the biggest-ever deal in the Indian media, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) on Thursday announced a Rs 4,000-crore investment for acquiring a majority stake in the Raghav Bahl-run Network 18 Media & Investments (NW18) and the deal covers subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd (TV18).
Network18 is a diversified media conglomerate with presence in news and entertainment channels, movie production, print media and digital, including both e-commerce and content.
“The Board of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Thursday approved funding of up to Rs 4,000 crore to Independent Media Trust (IMT), of which RIL is the sole beneficiary, for acquisition of control in Network 18 Media & Investments Limited (NW18), including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Limited (TV18), and the open offers to be made consequent to the acquisition,” RIL said in a statement.
The acquisition of Network18 by IMT is being made keeping in mind the fundamental synergy with RIL’s 4G business, the company added.
RIL plans to provide this content to customers of high-speed 4G telecom network, which it is poised to roll out. IMT would use the funds to acquire control over NW18 and TV18 resulting in ownership of about 78 per cent in NW18 and 9 per cent in TV18 and to acquire shares tendered in the open offers.
Open offers were announced for purchase of shares in three listed companies of Network 18 Group for nearly Rs 2,300 crore. An open offer was made by the IMT, RIL and RIL is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust
Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings for acquisition of up to 44,65,10,110 equity shares, or 26 per cent stake, of TV18 Broadcast for Rs 1,347.57 crore. JM Financial Institutional Securities has been appointed the manager for the offer. Another open offer was made for acquisition of 1,30,62,224 equity shares of Infomedia Press.
This constitutes 26 per cent stake purchase of total of Rs 3.92 crore.
Open offer was also made for acquisition of up to 22,99,46,996 equity shares of Network18 Media & Investments, amounting to 21.96 per cent stake, for Rs 943.70 crore.

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