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RIL open offers for Network18, group firms to begin on 21 July

LiveMint logoLiveMint 05-06-2014 PTI

New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd(RIL) on Thursday said its open offers to acquire a controlling stake in media group Network18 and its subsidiaries will begin on 21 July. RIL proposes to acquire control over the media group through Independent Media Trust (IMT).The open offers will close on 4 August, RIL said in a regulatory filing.

On 29 May, RIL’s board approved funding of up to Rs4,000 crore to IMT, of which RIL is the sole beneficiary, for acquisition of control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd (NW18), including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd (TV18).

“IMT would use the funds to acquire control over NW18 and TV18 resulting in ownership of about 78% in NW18 and 9% in TV18 and to acquire shares tendered in the open offers,” the company had said in a statement.

An open offer is being made for the acquisition of up to 22,99,46,996 equity shares of Network18 Media & Investments, amounting to a 21.96% stake, for Rs943.70 crore.

RIL is also seeking to acquire up to 44,65,10,110 equity shares, or 26%, of TV18 Broadcast for Rs1,347.57 crore. A third open offer will be made for up to 1,30,62,224 equity shares of Infomedia Press Ltd. This constitutes a 26% stake purchase for Rs3.92 crore.

The open offers are being made by JM Financial Institutional Securities Ltd on behalf of IMT, RIL and Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings.

The NW18 Group has interests in television, Internet, films, e-commerce, magazines, mobile content and allied businesses. Its properties include moneycontrol.com, Firstpost.com, Homeshop18.com and Bookmyshow.com, while Colors, CNN-IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7 and CNBC Awaaz are among its broadcast channels.

In January 2012, Network18 Group and Reliance Industries joined hands for a multi-layered deal, under which the Mukesh Ambani-led corporate giant would sell part of its interest in ETV channels and would get access to content and distribution assets of the electronic media group.

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