Reliance Group hikes stake in radio & broadcasting arm to over 90%, set to delist Reliance Broadcast Network

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group (formerly Reliance ADAG) has raised its stake in its radio and  broadcasting firm Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) to 90.33 per cent, as per a stock market disclosure.

Promoter group firms Reliance Share and Stock Brokers Pvt Ltd, Reliance Capital Ltd and Reliance Land Pvt Ltd have managed to get minority shareholders to tender 12.2 million shares at an exit price of Rs 70 apiece in the open offer, which would cost around Rs 85 crore.

The promoters held around 74.95 per cent as of December 31, 2013 and with the open offer it has crossed the 90 per cent level required to delist a firm from the bourses.

RBNL scrip last traded at Rs 67.50 a share, up 0.07 per cent on the BSE in a strong Mumbai market on Friday.

RBNL is a media entertainment firm with operations across radio, television, TV production and intellectual properties.

It houses radio FM network under 92.7 BIG FM besides a string of television broadcast properties, including BIG CBS Networks (JV with CBS Studios offering English entertainment channels - Love and Prime, as well as a regional channel Spark Punjabi), BIG RTL THRILL (action programming channel under a JV with Europe's RTL Group), BIG MAGIC (local language general entertainment channel which has also expanded to international markets targeting the diaspora).

In addition, RBNL has a television content production division and a media sales unit under BIG Connect.

The loss-making firm had been feeling pressure in top-line with revenues declining from Rs 300 crore to Rs 235 crore between FY12 and FY13. For the year ended March 31, 2013, it had net loss of Rs 92 crore on revenues of Rs 235 crore. Bulk of its revenue comes from the radio business, which is profitable as a segment.

Reliance Group has a number of separate private firms in the media and entertainment space straddling areas like movie production, multiplex and direct-to-home services. It is also looking to delist its media firm Reliance MediaWorks Ltd as a part of its restructuring strategy.

In a recently report, Mint newspaper said citing sources that Reliance Group may either sell part stake in some of the business units or sell them altogether.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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