Reliance Industries consolidates media business under Network 18

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on February 18, 2020

File photo   -  Reuters

92 shares of Network 18 will be given for every 100 shares of TV18

Reliance Industries’ decision to consolidate its media and distribution businesses into Network18 could be a precursor to unlocking value in the company through a stake sale or listing.

The Mukesh Ambani-backed conglomerate announced on Monday that TV18 Broadcast, Hathway Cable & Datacom and Den Networks will merge into Network18 Media & Investments . Under the scheme, 92 shares of Network 18 will be given for every 100 shares of TV18, 78 shares of Network18 for every 100 shares of Hathway and 191shares of Network18 for every 100 shares of Den. The date for the merger will be February 1, 2020.

The broadcasting business will be housed in Network18 and the cable and ISP businesses in two separate wholly-owned subsidiaries of Network18.

“The restructuring shall create value-chain integration, and render substantial economies of scale. The scheme shall also simplify the corporate structure of the group by reducing the number of listed entities,” the company said in a statement.

“The media industry is accelerating towards being a B2C play, led both by market factors and through regulation. An integrated media play shall further increase the breadth as well as depth of the group’s consumer touchpoints, and allow for retaining a larger share of the consumer’s spend on content,” it added.

Network18 will be an integrated media and distribution company with a revenue of ₹8,000 crore. It will be net-debt free at consolidated level. The consolidation of cable businesses of Den and Hathway in one entity will leverage the combined strength of the 27,000 LCO partners who act as the touchpoints to 15 million households, the press statement said.

Following the merger, Reliance’s holding in Network18 will reduce from 75 per cent to 64 per cent.


Published on February 18, 2020

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