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RIL to fund Network 18, sell stake in Eenadu TV

RIL to fund Network 18, sell stake in Eenadu TV

Reliance Industries and Network 18 group on Tuesday joined hands for a multi-layered deal, under which the Mukesh Ambani-led corporate giant would sell a part of its interest in Eenadu TV channels and would also fund promoters of the media group.

RIL chief Mukesh Ambani RIL chief Mukesh Ambani
Reliance Industries and Network 18 groupon Tuesday joined hands for a multi-layered deal, under which the MukeshAmbani-led corporate giant would sell a part of its interest in Eenadu TVchannels and would also fund promoters of the media group.

RIL did not specify the exact financial details of varioustransactions. Network 18 group company TV18 in a separate statement said itsboard has approved an outlay of up to Rs 2,100 crore for the proposedacquisition of ETV assets.

At the same time, RIL group, through an independent trust,would provide funding to promoters of Raghav Bahl-led Network 18 group foracquiring shares in their two companies - Network 18 and TV18 - through their respectiverights issues.

In all, Network 18 and TV18 would raise about Rs 4,000 croreincluding Rs 1,700 crore contribution of the promoters.

As per the deal, RIL, which is setting up a pan-Indiabroadband network, would also get access to content and distribution assets ofthe electronic media group.

RIL said its group companies, through investments of aboutRs 2,600 crore, now hold interest in various ETV channels, being operated andmanaged by Eenadu group.

This include 100 per cent stake in regional news channels(ETV Uttar Pradesh, ETV Madhya Pradesh, ETV Bihar ETV Urdu), 100 per cent stakein entertainment channels (ETV Marathi, ETV Kannada, ETV Bangla, ETV Gujaratiand ETV Oriya), and 49 per cent in two Telugu channels (ETV Telugu and ETVTelugu News).

RIL said that it would be selling "a part of theinterest owned by it in the ETV Channels" to TV18 Broadcast Ltd.

TV18 said it is acquiring 100 per cent stake in regionalnews channels, 50 per cent in non-Telugu entertainment channels and 24.5 percent interest in two Telugu channels.

TV18 would get the board and management control of the ETVnews channels and ETV non-Telugu entertainment channels.

RIL funding would not alter promoter, management oreditorial control of Network 18 entities, the two groups said.