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Media conglomerate Network 18 Media & Investments is tightening its grip on AIM listed - The Indian Film Company (TIFC). The group's holding firm has got a 'valid acceptance' to acquire an additional 44.4% stake in TIFC, raising it to more than 80%. The increase in stake follows the open offer made by the company in July.

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Network18 Holdings had picked up a 14.39% stake TIFC in late July for £3.15 million or Rs 25 crore. That increased its stake to 36% and it subsequently made an open offer for all TIFC shares.  The offer, which closed yesterday, was made at 40 pence per share, which valued the company at  £22 million or Rs 175 crore. TIFC was listed on AIM in 2007 raising £55 million with shares issued at 100 pence.

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Raghav Bahl-led Network18 has also picked up a 50% stake in Film Investment Managers (Mauritius), the asset management company (AMC) of TIFC. This has been done at 12% of the assets under management (AUM) of the firm and some control premium, said Network18 in a filing without disclosing further details. The film projects of TIFC had a carrying value of £52.06 million at the year ending March 2009.

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Earlier this year some shareholders of  TIFC demanded removal of Raghav Bahl as company's director. The shareholders had asked for a review of the business, including an assessment of past performance and future strategy. The issue was finally settled when a representative of the shareholder group was appointed to the TIFC board and a review was ordered.

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