Reliance Industries (RIL) has increased its stake to 78 per cent at Network18 to gain majority control of the media company.
On 29 May, the board of RIL approved funding of upto Rs 4,000 crore to Independent Media Trust (IMT), of which RIL is the sole beneficiary, for acquisition of control in Network 18 Media & Investments (NW18) including a nine per cent stake of TV18 Broadcast Limited (TV18).
According to a release issued by the company, the acquisition will differentiate Reliance’s 4G business by providing a unique amalgamation at the intersect of telecom, web and digital commerce via a suite of premier digital properties. This suite includes in.com, Ibnlive.com, moneycontrol.com, firstpost.com, cricketnext.in, homeshop18.com, bookmyshow.com. Network18's broadcast channels include Colors, CNN IBN, CNBC TV18, IBN7 and CNBC Awaaz.
It has also been reported that Raghav Bahl, founding/controlling shareholder and managing director, Network18 has left the company. Media reports had quoted an internal email sent out by Bahl informing NW18 employees that he would be exiting the company.