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Ambani to buy 24.5 pc stakes in Eenadu group

Ambani to buy 24.5 pc stakes in Eenadu group

It is now official: The Reliance Industries Limited, promoted by Mukesh Ambani, has acquired, albeit indirectly, a major stake in the Eenadu group of channels promoted by media baron Ch Ramoji Rao.

The decision was formally announced in Mumbai on Tuesday. The RIL has invested Rs 3,500 crore in two companies – Network18 Media and Investments and TV18 Broadcast Ltd (which runs business news channel CNBC TV18 and CNN-IBN) through their rights issue. This strategic investment by RIL will be used by the Network18 Group to retire debt and eventually buy out RIL’s stake in Eenadu.

RIL had admitted before the High Court recently that it had invested Rs 2,600 crore in the entities of Nimesh Kampani-led J M Financial Group, which in turn had invested in Ushodaya Enterprises. With Nimesh Kampani withdrawing from Eenadu group, the RIL had to invest the amount through two other entities -- Network 18 and TV18.

According to sources, the two networks will own 100 per cent stake in ETV news channels (other than Telugu), 50 per cent stake in other entertainment channels and 24.5 per cent stake in Telugu channels (ETV and ETV-2). With this, Ramoji Rao will lose hold on all the ETV network, except a major stake in ETV and ETV-2, sources added.

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