RIL acquires 24.92% stake in Ekta Kapoor-owned Balaji Telefilms

Reliance Industries (RIL) has acquired a 24.92 per cent stake in Ekta Kapoor-owned TV and movie production house Balaji Telefilms for Rs 413.28 crore ($64 million).

RIL will buy 2.52 crore shares of Balaji Telefilims at Rs164 apiece.

Balaji Telefilms said that the proceeds from the transaction would be used to further speed up content development initiatives, especially for ALT (its digital content platform).

''We welcome RIL as a partner in our growth journey towards becoming the preferred content producer for the Indian diaspora across all means of video consumption and across all geographies. This investment is a vote of confidence to the company's strategic move to own our IP and our viewers,'' Jeetendra Kapoor, chairman, Balaji Telefilms, said in a statement.

RIL said in a release, ''RIL is engaged in the telecom, digital and media businesses. This investment in content production (including digital content) is in line with RIL's commitment to invest and grow in telecom, digital and media businesses.''

Balaji Telefilms was founded in 1994, produces TV content for broadcasters and also makes and distributes movies. Besides, it operates an over-the-top (OTT) video on demand platform focusing on original and exclusive Indian digital content.

Separately, Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio), the telecom arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), plans to raise Rs20,000 crore through a rights issue of optionally convertible preference shares (OCPS).

The board of directors at its meeting held on 20 July 2017, has decided to make a rights issue of 4 billion, 9 per cent non-cumulative OCPS of Rs 10 each for cash at a premium of Rs40 per OCPS, aggregating Rs20,000 crore, RJio said in an exchange filing on Thursday.

RJio launched its commercial operations on September 5, 2016, with free data and voice services.