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Reliance to sell BIG FM to Music Broadcast

twitter-logoPTI | May 27, 2019 | Updated 22:33 IST

(Eds: Corrections throughout) Mumbai, May 27 (PTI) Anil Ambani's Reliance Group will sell its FM radio business by divesting its stake in BIG FM Radio to Jagran Prakashan-owned Music Broadcast Ltd (MBL), an official statement Monday said. Reliance Capital and Reliance Land (a part of Reliance Capital Group) will divest their entire equity stake in Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) to Music Broadcast Ltd (MBL). The move would help in reducing the loan burden of the Reliance group firms, it added. "This transaction is part of our overall strategy to reduce exposure in non-core businesses and will reduce our debt by an estimated Rs 1,200 crore," Reliance Capital CFO Amit Bapna said in a statement. RBNL operates under the brand name BIG FM Radio network with 58 stations across the country. MBL will initially acquire a 24 per cent equity stake of RBNL by way of a preferential allotment for Rs 202 crore. Thereafter, subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals, MBL will acquire all of the remaining equity stake held by Reliance Capital and Reliance Land in RBNL at a total enterprise value of Rs 1,050 crore. In addition, RCap will receive an around Rs 150 crore from the disposal of other assets of RBNL which do not form part of the transaction with MBL, in accordance with the regulations. In a separate release, MBL that operates Radio City said its board Monday approved the acquisition of RBNL. The combined network will have 79 radio stations making it the largest radio network in the country, MBL said in a release adding, "The entire transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of FY21." Last week RCap had said it will exit the mutual fund business by selling its stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management (RNAM) to its joint venture partner Japan's Nippon Life Insurance. "Together with the recently announced stake sale in Reliance Nippon Asset Management for Rs 6,000 crore and other ongoing monetization plans, we expect RCaps debt to reduce by nearly Rs 12,000 crore (close to 70 per cent) in the current financial year," Bapna added. The proposed transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals. EY India is acting as the exclusive investment banker to the transaction, and Phoenix Legal is acting as legal advisors to Reliance Capital group. PTI HV DS KRH AP MKJ

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