TV18 Broadcast and Moneycontrol to Merge with Parent Network18 in a Strategic Move by Reliance Group
Written by Sanjay Kumar
In a strategic move to consolidate its media and digital assets, Reliance Group-owned Network18 Media and Investments Ltd. has announced the merger of its television and digital news businesses with itself. The amalgamation will see TV18 Broadcast Ltd. and e-Eighteen.com Ltd. being integrated into the broader Network18 umbrella, creating a more streamlined and synergistic media powerhouse.
Merger Details: A Transformational Exchange for Shareholders
Under the proposed scheme of amalgamation, TV18 Broadcast Ltd. shareholders are set to receive 100 fully paid-up equity shares of Rs 5 each of Network18 for every 172 equity shares held in the broadcast company. Simultaneously, shareholders of the unlisted e-Eighteen.com Ltd. will be entitled to 19 fully paid-up equity shares of Rs 5 each of Network18 for every 1 equity share held in the digital unit. This transformative exchange aims to streamline the ownership structure and foster stronger integration among the entities.
The New Entity: A Comprehensive Media Powerhouse
The merged entity will encompass the extensive TV portfolio of TV18, boasting 20 news channels in 16 languages and CNBCTV18.com. Additionally, it will incorporate the digital assets of Network18, including the News18.com platform across 13 languages and Firstpost. Notably, the highly regarded Moneycontrol website and app will also become integral parts of the consolidated entity, creating a comprehensive and diversified media conglomerate.
Viacom18 and BookMyShow Holdings: Strategic Positioning
As part of the restructuring, Viacom18, Network18’s entertainment unit, will emerge as a direct subsidiary. With its impressive portfolio of JioCinema and 40 TV channels, Viacom18 will play a pivotal role in the broader Network18 ecosystem. The company has affirmed its commitment to retaining investments in BookMyShow, showcasing a strategic approach to maintaining a diversified and forward-looking business model.
Operational Synergies and Cost Optimization: Key Objectives
The Mumbai-based company has emphasized that the consolidation is expected to yield operational synergies, facilitate cost optimization, and enhance revenue realization. This move aligns with the broader industry trend of integrating media assets to create more efficient and robust business models, ensuring sustained growth and competitiveness.
Market Response: Positive Surge in Network18 Shares
The announcement has already had a positive impact on the market, with shares of Network18 closing 8.76% higher at Rs 98.6 apiece on Wednesday. This surge contrasts with the 0.52% advance in the BSE Sensex, underscoring the market’s positive reception of the strategic merger.
In summary, the merger of TV18 Broadcast and Moneycontrol with Network18 marks a significant step in the evolution of the media landscape in India. As the industry witnesses increasing convergence between television and digital platforms, this move positions Network18 as a formidable player, well-equipped to navigate the dynamic media landscape and deliver diverse, high-quality content across multiple channels and platforms.
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