RIL to offload 3.1% stake in Network18 for around Rs 200-cr

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Reliance IndustriesNew Delhi: Reliance Industries will offload 3.1 percent stake in media and entertainment firm Network18 Media and Investments Ltd for an estimated Rs 200 crore to bring down its shareholding to permitted level of 75 percent.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, which had last year acquired majority holding in Network18 for Rs 4,000 crore through Independent Media Trust (IMT), said the move was to comply with SEBI’s requirement of keeping promoter holding at a maximum of 75 percent.

The floor price for the Offer For Sale, which would take place on July 8, will be decided after close of market hours tomorrow. At the current price, the share sale could be worth over Rs 200 crore.

In a BSE filing, Reliance Industries said it is “proposing to sell 3.25 crore shares of Network18 Media and Investments Ltd (representing 3.1 percent of the equity capital) to bring down the aggregate shareholding of the promoter and promoter group to 75 percent”.

Promoter shareholding in the company as on March 31, 2015, stood at 78.1 percent.

It further said the company will offload shares to “increase public shareholding in the company to 25 percent as mandated by Clause 40A of the listing agreement pursuant to Securities Contract (Regulation) Rules, 1967″.

Elaborating further, the company said that the promoter group firm Shinano Retail Pvt Ltd “has issued an Offer for Sales of 3.25 crore shares of Network18″.

In a separate filing, Network18 group firm TV18 Broadcast Ltd said Hari S Bhartia, non executive and independent director, has resigned from the directorship of the company effective from June 30, 2015.

On May 29 last year, in the biggest ever deal in India’s media sector, Reliance Industries acquired control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd, for Rs 4,000 crore.

Subsequently, the company made open offers to acquire controlling stake in media group Network18 and its subsidiaries.

In January 2012, Network18 Group and Reliance Industries had joined hands for a multi-layered deal, under which the Mukesh Ambani-led corporate giant sold part of its interest in ETV channels and got access to content and distribution assets of the electronic media group.

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