Reliance completes open offer for Network18, Infomedia & TV18

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has completed the open offer for three listed firms of the Network18 group shelling out Rs 17.9 crore ($2.8 million) to buy shares in the tender offer, which did not find many takers, as per a stock market disclosure.

The open offers had sought to buy more shares of three firms for as much as Rs 2,295 crore but were expected to fail as the share price of the targets were much higher than the tender offer price.

The mandatory offers were triggered by its move to acquire controlling stake by converting loan extended three years ago to private holding firms of Raghav Bahl, former promoter of the media and entertainment major.

RIL had offered to buy all the outstanding shares of Network18 Media & Investments Pvt Ltd (NW18) representing around 20 per cent stake for Rs 943.7 crore. It managed to buy just 0.02 per cent additional stake which has pushed its overall holding in the firm to 78.07 per cent.

It had also made an open offer to buy 26 per cent more in TV18 Broadcast Ltd (TV18), a subsidiary of NW18. The open offer triggered by the takeover of NW18 could have cost it as much as Rs 1,347.57 crore. It managed to acquire 0.32 per cent stake in the offer for Rs 16.34 crore which takes the promoter holding in the broadcast firm to 60.29 per cent.

RIL, which also become indirect owner of Infomedia Press Ltd with 47.18 per cent holding, had also offered to buy another 26 per cent of Infomedia at Rs 3 a share for up to Rs 3.92 crore. It managed to buy another 3 per cent for Rs 45.8 lakh taking the promoter holding in Infomedia to 50.64 per cent.

NW18 is the owner of a suite of premier digital internet properties, e-commerce businesses and broadcast content.

NW18 as a group ended FY14 with total consolidated income of Rs 2,692 crore with net loss of Rs 36.77 crore as against total income of Rs 2,382 crore with net loss of Rs 105.45 crore the previous year.

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