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Network18 founder Raghav Bahl says he’ll be around for transition to RIL; Vandana Malik quits

RIL Network18Vandana Malik, the Executive Director at the Network18 group has quit. Ina  short email sent to Network18 employees, Malik said that ‘It always is very difficult to say Good Bye. But the knowledge that the future of Network 18 is in very good hands and that all of you will be well looked after will make it easier. In Raghav’s words “God Bless Network 18.”‘

Malik started working for Network18 in 1994 as its Mumbai bureau chief, before which she was with Business India as its editorial director. Her departure follows that of Network18’s CEO B. Saikumar, COO Ajay Chacko, and CFO RDS Bawa.

Raghav Bahl will be around for the transition to RIL

In an email sent to Network18 employees, Network18 founder Raghav Bahl has said that he and his wife Ritu Kapur have exited their shareholding in Network18, but he will be around to ensure a smooth transition, thus indicating that post transition, he won’t be with the group any more. In the email, he has said that the Network18 group is in terrific hands, ‘Mr Ambani is a visionary and truly good human being’, and ‘And we have no doubt that Network18 would soar into the “cloud” under this dispensation. All of you have very good cause to be excited and optimistic about the future.’

RIL bought stake from Bahl, Kapur, and their holding companies (RRB Mediasoft Private Limited, RB Mediasoft Private Limited, RB Media Holdings Pvt Ltd, Watermark Infratech Pvt Ltd, Colorful Media Pvt Ltd, Adventure Marketing Pvt Ltd and RB Holdings Pvt Ltd, amounting to 71.25% in Network18, 55.01% in TV18, 47.60% in Infomedia18. However, much of that money for this acquisition would be for the convertible debentures which were used to finance the Network18 promoter groups (via the companies mentioned above) acquisition of stake in the companies, and the paying of debt.

Last night, RIL announced an open offer of Rs 2295 crores for Network18, TV18 and Infomedia18, significantly lower than what would be their combined value (for the stake being acquired) at market rates. More on the open offer here.

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A detailed timeline of developments that led to Reliance Industries’ acquisition of Network18 is here.


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