Network18, TV18, and E18 to merge to form India’s leading integrated news conglomerate
In a significant development in the Indian media landscape, Network18 Media & Investments Ltd. (Network18) has announced a strategic merger with TV18 Broadcast Limited (TV18) and e-Eighteen.com Limited (E18), the owner and operator of the moneycontrol website and app. This historic merger is set to create India’s leading integrated news media conglomerate, consolidating both TV and digital news businesses under one unified company.
Creating a Platform-Agnostic News Media Powerhouse
The merger of TV18 and E18 with Network18 is expected to establish India’s largest platform-agnostic news media entity, offering a comprehensive suite of services that span across languages and media formats. The combined entity will encompass TV18’s portfolio of 20 news channels in 16 languages, including CNBCTV18.com, and Network18’s digital assets, such as the News18.com platform across 13 languages and Firstpost. Additionally, the merged company will include the moneycontrol website and app.
Strategic Benefits of the Merger
This merger aims to consolidate Network18’s position in the industry, enabling it to grow from a position of strength. It presents a unique opportunity for shareholders to engage with the group’s media business through a single listed entity. The integration will likely result in significant cost and content synergies, enhancing the group’s capacity to serve its audience and advertisers more effectively.
Share Exchange Details and Advisory Roles
The appointed date for the merger is April 1, 2023, with a share exchange ratio outlined as follows: 100 shares of Network18 for every 172 shares of TV18, and 19 shares of Network18 for every 1 share of E18. PwC Business Consulting Services LLP and Ernst & Young Merchant Banking Services LLP provided the joint valuation report for the fair share exchange ratio, with BofA Securities India Limited, Citigroup Global Markets India Private Limited, and HSBC Securities and Capital Markets India Private Limited offering financial advisory services. Khaitan & Co. is the legal advisor for the Scheme.
Implications for the Indian Media Industry
The merger is subject to necessary approvals, but once completed, it will mark a transformative moment for the Indian media industry. The amalgamation of these entities is expected to create a robust platform that can effectively cater to the evolving needs of consumers and advertisers in the digital age. The move symbolizes a significant shift towards omni-channel experiences in media consumption and positions the merged entity as a formidable player in the global news media landscape.
This strategic merger is not just a consolidation of assets but a visionary step towards redefining news broadcasting in India, setting a precedent for the future of integrated media conglomerates.