Consolidation Mode: RIL To Merge TV18, Hathway and Den Cable Into Network18
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Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd is consolidating its spread-out media and distribution businesses into Network18 Media and Investments.
Under the proposed arrangement, TV18, which runs news channels including CNBC TV18 and CNN News 18, broadband and television provider Hathway Cable and Datacom, and cable TV distribution company Den Networks will merge into Network18.
“The broadcasting business will be housed in Network18 and the cable and ISP businesses in two separate wholly owned subsidiaries of Network18,” Reliance said in a release on Monday. “The aggregation of a content powerhouse across news and entertainment (both linear and digital) and the country’s largest cable distribution network under the same umbrella shall boost efficiency and exploit synergies, creating value for all stakeholders,” according to the release.
Founded in 1993, Network 18 is India’s largest media network, by revenue, and home to brands including business magazine Forbes India, financial news website MoneyControl, FirstPost, and News18, among others. The entity is also the largest shareholder in Bookmyshow, an online ticket booking platform.
The integration will simplify corporate structure and generate close to INR 8,000 crore in revenue for Network18. Reliance’s holding in Network18 will reduce from 75 per cent to around 64 per cent upon implementation of the scheme.
“With this consolidation Network18 will scale-up as one of the largest listed players in the (media and entertainment) sector along with ZEE and Sun TV. In terms of revenues, one of the largest media entities after STAR (with revenue of INR 120bn),” said Abneesh Roy, analyst, Edelweiss Securities.
Zee is a brand under Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, and SunTV is a Tamil-language television channel brand owned by Chennai-headquartered Sun TV Network.
Shareholders will receive 92 shares of Network18 for every 100 shares they own of TV18 Broadcast.