New Delhi: Beleaguered tycoon Anil Ambani plans to sell his FM radio broadcasting business to a media conglomerate for Rs 1,200 crore, both parties stated to separate stock exchanges.
The FM radio broadcasting business, a unit of Ambani’s Reliance Capital Group, runs the FM channel Big FM 92.7 Radio while the buyer company owns Radio City.
The company intends to first sell 24 per cent stake in its entertainment company Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd to Music Broadcast Ltd., a unit of Jagran Prakashan Ltd., before complete disposal in staggered transactions, said people in the company who wished to remain anonymous as the discussions are confidential.
Radio City will soon take over 40 stations of Reliance 92.7 Big FM and the remaining 18 stations will be sold in the second leg of the transaction, as per the stages under Indian rules governing a radio broadcaster.
Music Broadcast Ltd, in a statement on Monday, said that no definitive document has been signed yet. An announcement is expected in this week.
Ambani’s exit from the FM radio broadcasting business is a part of his efforts to cut wider group liabilities after a debt-fuelled expansion in the past decade and the subsequent government crackdown on bad loans led to the collapse of his phone-services unit, Reliance Communications Ltd.
The Reliance Capital Group is Ambani’s only stronghold as the rest of his businesses, from defence to telecom to infrastructure units, are drowning in insolvency proceedings, bankruptcy and regulatory hurdles.
The company, once combined, will own 79 stations across India, making it the country’s biggest FM radio broadcasting business. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of the financial year starting in April 2020.
(With inputs from Bloomberg)