The Network18 Group has announced the complete consolidation of its 24-hour Hindi news channel IBN7 with GBN, the Group’s general news arm. The channel is currently housed in a joint venture with the Gupta family, the promoters of Dainik Jagran.
GBN had earlier announced the acquisition of equity stake held by New Vernon in IBN7 and its Board on December 19 approved a Scheme of Arrangement, in terms of which IBN7 would be consolidated with GBN. BMR Advisors acted as the transaction and financial advisors for the consolidation.
The consolidation is subject to relevant regulatory and stakeholder approvals. Pursuant to the consolidation, it is intended that 1,467,390 equity shares of Rs 10 each of GBN be issued to the Gupta family in consideration of the consolidation. A further 1,793,478 equity shares of Rs 10 each of GBN are proposed to be held in a Trust, which would be capable of monetising this stake for the benefit of GBN’s shareholders.
The Board also accorded approval for sub-division of the nominal value of its equity share from the present Rs 10 per share to Rs 2 per share resulting in a 5 for 1 stock split. The stock split will be subject to shareholders’ approval, which will be sought through a postal ballot and will then apply in respect of the shares to be issued on the consolidation as well.
GBN is currently listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange. It owns and operates English language news and current affairs channel CNN-IBN. The company is also entering the regional news space with the launch of a Marathi news channel with the Lokmat Group. This consolidation is part of the vision of GBN to emerge as an integrated player in the Indian general news broadcasting segment having news and current affairs channels in various languages.
GBN buys New Vernon’s 10 per cent stake in Jagran TV for Rs 20 cr