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Network18 Raises Rs 2B From Promoter Raghav Bahl; Okays 49% FDI

Network18 Media & Investments has raised Rs 2 billion from the Raghav Bahl-owned RB Holdings by issuing 18.2 million secured optionally fully convertible debentures (SOFCD) at a price of Rs 110 each to the company.

The debentures will be converted to 1,81,81, 818 shares of Network18 within 18 months from the date of allotment at Rs 110 per share, the BSE announcement said. The promoters hold 51.81 per cent, as per data provided by the company till 31 December 2008. The board has also approved further allotment of Rs 2.5 crore through shares or convertible instruments such as a preferential allotment, QIP, FCCBs, ADRs and GDRs. A source in the company told IndianTelevision that promoters in news broadcasting companies have to hold at least 51 percent, so the investment from Bahl is perhaps a precursor to further fund raising. 

The Network18 also gave the nod for increase of foreign investment limit in the company to 49 per cent, following the government’s recent modification of FDI norms. It plans to woo foreign investors with the preferential allotment opening up ‘potential headroom’ to place over 20% of its fully diluted equity to investors.

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