Mukesh Ambani in discussions to sell news assets to Times group.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani is currently in talks to sell his information media resources to India’s Times Group, as Asia’s richest guy intends to overthrow a company that’s been losing money, people familiar with the issue said.
Bennett Coleman & Co., the publisher of the Times of India, will be looking to hire consultants for due diligence about the information properties of Ambani’s Network18 Media & Investments Ltd., the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. Ambani is considering a variety of options, ranging from a exit to a stake sale, one of those people said. Talks are at an early stage and might not result in a deal, the people stated, adding more suitors could emerge.
A representative for Bennett Coleman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comments, even though a spokesman for Reliance Industries Ltd. said the parent of Network18 evaluates opportunities on a continuous basis and declined to comment further.
The tycoon’s plan to eliminate the news resources comes as he pursues talks to sell a stake in Network18’s entertainment division that encompasses different movie, music and humor channels to Sony Corp.. Bloomberg News reported last week that the Japanese giant is presently analyzing the books of the Indian press business and is thinking about several potential deal structures.
Ambani’s oil-to-petrochemicals conglomerate is in the midst of streamlining its own operations and pivoting more toward comparatively new ventures like technology and retail for earnings. Last month, Reliance Industries introduced a digital-services holding company that would finally supply services from e-commerce to amusement on a telecommunications network constructed over the last few years with about $50 billion in investment.
Network18, developed by Reliance Industries at 2014, owns and operates 56 local channels spanning entertainment and news. Its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast Ltd. houses news channels.