×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Readies IPO for Network 18 Subsidiary

Flotation follows takeover of Indian entertainment combine by country’s richest man.

LONDON — After announcing plans to acquire a controlling stake in media conglomerate Network18 last week, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is planning to list its home shopping network HomeShop18 on the New York Stock Exchange.

HomeShop18 will launch an initial public offering to raise $150 million from the NYSE, according to sources familiar with the deal in Mumbai.
 
The Network18 takeover means that India’s richest man now directly controls the Indian local versions of MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central. It also runs news channel CNN-IBN in partnership with Turner International India, business news channels CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz in association with CNBC Asia, and the local version of the History channel in a joint venture with A&E Television Networks.

The Network18 group also operates powerful general entertainment channel Colors and a film studio Viacom18 Motion Pictures. 

It also sets Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Industries in direct media and entertainment industry competition with Anil Ambani and his Reliance ADA Group which spans Reliance Entertainment and a major stake in DreamWorks.

Reliance Industries last week made a $675 million offer for a 78% stake in Network18 which it will buy from its associate company Independent Media Trust. But the process began some two years back, when Mukesh Ambani provided a massive loan to Network 18 in the form of debentures that are convertible into shares.

Following the takeover announcement, Network18 founders Raghav Bahl and Ritu Kapur divested their shares in the company and senior management including CEO B. Sai Kumar, COO Ajay Chacko and CFO R.D.S. Bawa announced their departures. CNN-IBN editor Rajdeep Sardesai immediately went on leave.
 
In a message to Network18’s 4000 employees, Bahl and Kapur said: “Believe us, the group is in terrific hands. Mr Ambani is a visionary and truly good human being. And we have no doubt that Network18 would soar into the cloud’ under this dispensation.”

Reliance Industries has sunk in $11 billion in a 4G network that will imminently be rolled out to India’s 900 million mobile users via subsid Reliance Jio Infocomm. A first refusal content licensing agreement between Network18 and Jio Infocomm has been in place since 2012.
 

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Weinstein Can Get a Fair Trial in Manhattan, Says D.A.

    The Manhattan District Attorney’s office argued on Friday that Harvey Weinstein can get a fair trial in Manhattan, and blamed the producer’s defense team for much of the pre-trial publicity in the case. Weinstein’s attorneys have asked an appellate court to transfer the case — which is set to begin on Sept. 9 — to [...]

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Madonna

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna Call for Action on Amazon Wildfires

    As wildfires rage at an alarming rate in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, celebrities are using their platforms to bring awareness to the deforestation’s impact and to call for action. In the past week, stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Cara Delevingne and Ariana Grande have taken to Instagram to express their frustration with the lack of [...]

  • 'The Durrells' TV Show

    Greece Sweetens Production Incentives as Struggling Country's Economy Rebounds

    It’s taken the better part of a decade for Greece to show signs of recovery from the crippling crisis that almost pushed it out of the Eurozone. Now, with the economy slowly on the mend, the government is doubling down on efforts to jump-start the local film industry, giving a dramatic overhaul to the incentive [...]

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content