Reliance arm completes acquisition of Network18

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today announced that its wholly-owned media arm Independent Media Trust (IMT) has completed the acquisition of Network 18 Media and Investments Limited (NW18), including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Limited (TV18).

Apart from nominees of IMT, the company also announced the induction of Deepak S Parekh and Adil Zainulbhai as independent directors on the board of NW18. Raghav Bahl will continue to be on the board of NW18 as a non-executive director.

With the completion of this transaction, IMT and RIL have become promoters of NW18 and TV18.

RIL said the open offer to public shareholders for acquisition of equity shares of NW18, TV18 and Infomedia Press Ltd as announced on 29 May 2014 by IMT are in process and the draft letter of offer has been filed with Sebi for its comments.

Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries had on 29 May announced plans to acquire control in Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd, in a Rs4,000-crore deal.

NW18 is the owner of a suite of digital internet properties, e-commerce businesses and differentiated broadcast content including In.com, IBNLive.com, Moneycontrol.com, Firstpost.com, Cricketnext.in, Homeshop18.com, Bookmyshow.com; while the broadcast channels include Colors, CNN-IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7 and CNBC Awaaz.

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