Network18 acquires majority stake in Indian Film Company

MUMBAI: Network18 Holdings, a subsidiary of Raghav Bahl-promoted Network18 Media and Investments Ltd, will acquire a majority in AIM listed The Indian Film Company (TIFC).

Network18 Holdings has acquired a 14.39% stake (7,810,232 shares) from a single shareholder in TIFC. With this acquisition, made at 39.75 pence a share, Network18 Holdings’ stake in the company now goes up to 35.99 per cent. Under the UK Takeover Code, Network18 Holdings also made a mandatory bid for all remaining shares not owned by Network18 Group for 40 pence a share vide an offer document dated 3 August, 2009.

The board of Network18 Holdings has received valid acceptances of the offer for 14.2 per cent shares of TIFC, which will take the shareholding of Network18 Group in TIFC to 50.2 per cent. 

The offer will remain open for acceptance until further notice and is subject to the provisions of the code.

Sources inform that Network18 Holdings has acquired the 14.39 per cent stake from Altima Master Fund Ltd. It may be recalled that earlier this year, Altima Master Fund along with a few shareholders of the company wanted to remove Raghav Bahl from the board of IFC in lieu of poor financial performance.

On 31 July 2009, Atul Setia tendered his resignation from the Board of the Indian Film Company as a result of Altima India Master Fund Limited ceasing to have an aggregate interest in 10 per cent or more of the Indian Film Company’s issued share capital. On 12 August 2009, Deepak Gupta tendered his resignation from the Board of the Indian Film Company which became effective on 13 August 2009.