India’s TV18 Broadcast to merge with Network18 in $1.2 billion deal

By Ashna Teresa Britto and Kashish Tandon

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s TV18 Broadcast will merge with Network18 Media & Investments in a $1.2 billion deal that will help the Reliance-owned companies expand their reach and cut costs, they said on Wednesday.

The all-stock deal will consolidate the Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance’s broadcast and digital businesses, which include business news portal Moneycontrol and streaming platform JioCinema, the two firms said in an exchange filing.

“The merger will offer better reach towards a large number of viewers and consumers and also lead to better advertising revenue,” said Karan Taurani, media analyst at Elara Capital.

Media companies including TV18 and rival Adani-owned NDTV have flagged earnings weakness over the last few quarters due to subdued advertising revenue.

Network18 will issue 100 shares for every 172 shares of TV18, the companies said, valuing the latter at 57.24 rupees per share – a 1.9% premium to its closing price on Wednesday.

($1 = 83.3170 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto and Kashish Tandon; Writing by Nandan Mandayam; Editing by Sohini Goswami)