Reliance Group seeks to delist radio and broadcasting firm RBNL

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group (formerly Reliance ADAG) is looking at a voluntary delisting of its radio and broadcasting firm Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL), as per a stock market disclosure.

The promoter group’s holding in the firm stood at 72.09 per cent as of June 30, 2013 which has gone up as the group raised its holding further over the last few weeks, raising its stake closer to the 75 per cent mark, the maximum allowed for a listed firm. At the current market price, it would cost around Rs 100 crore to buy out public shareholders.

RBNL scrip was quoting at Rs 49 a share, down 1.8 per cent on the BSE in a strong Mumbai market on Thursday.

Promoter group firms Reliance Share and Stock Brokers Pvt Ltd, Reliance Capital Ltd and Reliance Land Pvt Ltd decided to make a voluntary delisting offer to all the public shareholders of the company and RBNL board has approved the proposed offer in a board meet on Wednesday.

The company did not give any reason behind the proposed delisting of the entertainment firm.

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.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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