Cash infusion to fuel India’s Reliance network

RBN to draw $86 million to pump growth

Reliance Broadcast Network, which recently pacted with CBS to bow three English-lingo channels in India, is set to receive a 4 billion rupee ($85.7 million) infusion to fuel growth.

On Wednesday the board approved a proposal to offer preferential equity shares worth $53.6 million to its parent company, billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance ADAG, and $32.1 million worth of shares to other investors. The offer is being made at a price of $1.80 per share, which is 25% over the share’s average market value over the last six months.

The funds will help RBN in its new ventures including Big CBS, as well as pump its activities in the radio and advertising sectors.

“The media and entertainment sector is back on an exciting double-digit growth path,” said RBN CEO Tarun Katial. “This resurgent market has brought with it changes in expectations from marketers and advertisers, as well as newer opportunities for media companies. The equity capital infusion is a reflection of the strong confidence of our promoter group in the future growth prospects of the company.”

The value of RBN’s shares climbed nearly 5% to close at $2.37 on the Bombay Stock Exchange following the announcement.

The Reliance group is increasingly courting Hollywood. It’s backing DreamWorks Studios with $825 million and has development deals with Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films, Jim Carrey’s JC 23 Entertainment, George Clooney’s Smokehouse Prods., Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks’ Playtone Prods., Brad Pitt’s Plan B, Jay Roach’s Everyman Pictures, Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment, Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films and Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.