Now don’t doubt if you can’t see any funky news about Reliance in the news channels, as in one of the biggest deal in the Indian media space, Reliance Industries limited will acquire popular Indian media provider Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd.
For this massive takeover Board of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has approved a funding up to Rs 4000 crore to Independent Media Trust (IMT) of which RIL is the sole beneficiary. IMT will be using this funds to acquire control over Network 18 and TV18 assets resulting in ownership of about 78% in Network 18 and 9% in TV18 and to acquire shares tendered in the open offers. RIL also mentioned that IMT will be making Open Offers to public shareholders for acquisition of equity shares of Network18, TV18 and Infomedia Press Limited.
Why this media take over? Reliance saying this takeover will differentiate its upcoming 4G service (Reliance Jio) from its competitors by providing a unique combination of telecom, web and digital commerce via a suite of premier digital properties.
The Network18 digital properties include In.com, IBNLive.com, Moneycontrol.com, Firstpost.com, Cricketnext, Homeshop18.com, Bookmyshow.com, Burrp, News18 and Yatra.com. Broadcasting news channels include CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz, ETV regional channels and IBN – Lokmat. Broadcasting entertainment channels include Colors, MTV, Rishtey, ETV channels, History 18, Sonic, Vhi and Nick.
Network18 is also into print media with its popular magazines including Forbes, Overdrive, Chip and others. They also have in-house film production unit which produced popular films including Bhag Milkha Bhag, Queen, Madras Cafe, Gangs of Wasapur and many others.