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Reliance Industries to sells 3.1% in Network18 to follow Sebi norms

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Network 18, Reliance, SEBI norms, selling shares, Stock market

New Delhi: Reliance Industries will offload 3.10 percent stake in media and entertainment firm Network18 Media and Investments Ltd to bring down its shareholding to 75 percent.

The company, which had last year acquired majority holding in Network18 Media and Investments for Rs 4,000 crore through Independent Media Trust (IMT), said the move was to comply with SEBI requirement of keeping promoter holding at 75 percent.

In a BSE filing Reliance Industries said: "...It is proposing to sell 3.25 crore shares of Network18 Media and Investments Ltd (representing 3.10 per cent of the equity capital) to bring down the aggregate shareholding of the promoter and promoter group to 75 per cent."

Promoter shareholding in the company as on 31 March 2015, stood at 78.10 percent.

It further said it will offload shares to "increase public shareholding in the company to 25 per cent as mandated by Clause 40A of the listing agreement pursuant to Securities Contract (Regulation) Rules, 1967."
Elaborating, it said, in this regard, promoter group firm Shinano Retail Pvt Ltd "has issued a Offer for Sales of 3.25 crore shares of Network18".

Offer for sale will open 8 July, however, the company did not share the price at which it will offload the stake. Based on today's closing price, the deal is expected to value just over Rs 200 crore.

In a separate filing, TV18 Broadcast Ltd said that Hari S Bhartia, non executive and independent director, has resigned from the directorship of the company effective from 30 June 2015.

On 29 May last year, in the biggest ever deal in India's media sector, Reliance Industries acquired control in Network 18 Media & Investments Ltd, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd, for Rs 4,000 crore.
Subsequently, the company made open offers to acquire a controlling stake in media group Network18 and its subsidiaries.

In January 2012, Network18 Group and Reliance Industries had joined hands for a multi-layered deal, under which the Mukesh Ambani-led corporate giant sold part of its interest in ETV channels and got access to content and distribution assets of the electronic media group.

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