RIL announces merger of TV18, Hathway and Den Networks into Network18

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) owns several different entities of media business but not the company is consolidating them. The company has today announced the consolidation of its media and distribution businesses across multiple entities into Network18.

With this development, Reliance believes that it will create an ecosystem for growth opportunities in digital, broadcast media, cable, and broadband. TV18 Broadcast, Hathway Cable & Datacom and Den Networks will now be merged into Network18 Media & Investments. The company also said that the appointed date for the merger shall be February 1, 2020.

RIL

The company will now be leveraging the combined strength of the 27,000 local cable operator partners who act as the touch-points to 15 million households in India while the combined Broadband entity will serve 1 million wireline broadband subscribers across the country.

As per the statement, TV18’s interests in 51 percent subsidiaries Viacom18 and AETN18, along with Indiacast, the joint venture with Viacom18, are also a part of the consolidation. Den Networks and Hathway Cable & Datacom will now be housed in two wholly owned subsidiaries of Network18.

According to the share exchange ratio approved by the board, the company will offer 92 shares of Network18 for every 100 shares of TV18; 78 shares of Network18 for every 100 shares of Hathway and 191 shares of Network18 for every 100 shares of Den.

In a statement related to this consolidation, the company said: “The reorganization furthers the group strategy of building a media powerhouse that is agnostic across pipes, platforms and screens.The aggregation of a content powerhouse across news and entertainment (both linear and digital) and the country’s largest cable distribution network under the same umbrella shall boost efficiency and exploit synergies, creating value for all stakeholders.”

The development comes about six years after Reliance acquired Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd through its Independent Media Trust. The network owns several TV channels, websites, magazines and general entertainment channel, among other businesses.