India’s TV18 Broadcast will merge with Network18 Media & Investments in a $1.2 billion deal that will help the Reliance-owned companies expand their reach and cut costs, according to the companies involved.
The all-stock deal, conveyed via regulatory filing with the stock exchange yesterday, will consolidate the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance’s broadcast and digital businesses, which include business news portal Moneycontrol and streaming platform JioCinema.
According to a media statement put out by Network18, the move will enable it to consolidate and further grow its business from a position of strength. This will present a unique opportunity to all shareholders to participate in the media business of the group through one listed entity.
The merged entity will comprise the TV portfolio (20 news channels in 16 languages and CNBCTV18.com), digital assets of Network18 (News18.com platform across 13 languages and Firstpost) as also moneycontrol website and app. Viacom18 with its portfolio of JioCinema and 40 TV channels will be a direct subsidiary of Network18.
Network18 will continue to hold its investment in BookMyShow.
As consumers and advertisers increasingly gravitate towards omni-channel experiences across different aspects of their lives, having a deep and integrated presence across both TV and digital media will enable the merged entity to serve them better, the media statement explained.
Further, as Network18 group has been working towards convergence, an integrated entity for news gathering and dissemination is expected to result in cost and content synergies. The Board of Directors of the respective companies have approved the Scheme of Arrangement at their meetings held yesterday.