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How Reliance Industries acquired Network18: A detailed timeline of events

(by Vikas SN and Nikhil Pahwa) Reliance Industries, today, announced plans to acquire the Network18 and TV18, initiate open offers for acquisition of shares. This follows resignations from Network18's group CEO, COO and CFO since yesterday. The process of acquisition of Network18 began in January 2012. An overview of significant events in Network18 over the last year or so, leading up to the RIL acquisition: (Note: we'll keep updating this post as fresh developments emerge). January & March 2012 In short: Independent Media Trust (IMT), a trust set up by Reliance Industries, agreed to fund the Promoters of Network18 and TV18, which allowed them to subscribe to a part of a proposed Rs 5400 crore Rights Issue announced by Network18 and TV18. Funds from this issue would partly be used to pay debt (Rs 2050 crore), and partly to buy stake held by RIL in the ETV group channels. The details: The IMT subscribed to Zero Coupon Optionally Convertible Debentures (ZOCD) in RB Mediasoft Pvt Ltd, RRB Mediasoft Pvt Ltd, RB Media Holdings Pvt Ltd, Aventure Marketing Pvt Ltd, Watermark Infratech Pvt Ltd, Colorful Media Pvt Ltd, all owned and controlled by Raghav Bahl. Before the subscription, Raghav Bahl and his affiliates controlled 40% in Network18. IMT had an option to convert the debentures into equity shares before 10 years. As a part of the terms of subscribing to the debentures, RIL subsidiary Infotel Broadband got preferential access to Network18′s content from all its media and web properties and TV18′s programming and digital content of…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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