Reliance names Raghav Bahl Network 18 non-executive director
Deepak S. Parekh and Adil Zainulbhai have also been inducted as independent directors on the board of Network18
Deepak S. Parekh, chairman of Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd, and Adil Zainulbhai, an independent director on the board of RIL and senior adviser of McKinsey and Co. in India, have also been inducted as independent directors on the board of Network18, at the media company’s first board meeting after RIL took over the company.
Rohit Bansal, a former managing director of India TV, and Vinay Chhajlani, a former chief executive of Indore-based Hindi daily Nai Duniya, have also been appointed as non-executive directors of Network18, according to a filing with BSE.
Umesh Upadhyay, a former head of news channel Janmat, is likely to be appointed as interim editor-in-chief at IBN 18 Network for a period of three months, according to two employees of Network18 who declined to be identified. Upadhyay joined RIL in March this year. Mint could not independently verify this development.
RIL now has completed the acquisition of Network18, including its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd. With the completion of this transaction, Independent Media Trust (IMT) and RIL have become promoters of Network18 and TV18.
In May, RIL announced that it would spend Rs.4,000 crore to take control of Network18, the company founded by Bahl in 1993, in the biggest takeover in India’s media industry and followed it up with an open offer to the public shareholders of the company.
Reliance now has ownership of television channels CNBC-TV18, CNN-IBN, IBN7; websites Moneycontrol.com, ibnlive.com, firstpost.com; print magazines Forbes India, Overdrive among various other media and non-media businesses. In early 2012, RIL had bought debentures in Network18’s promoter group companies, convertible into shares at any time within 10 years, infusing much needed cash into the company.
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