Hathway, Den stocks jump amid RIL stake buy buzz

MUMBAI: It seems that India’s richest billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s name is enough to shake up the media industry.

After the deal with TV18Network18 and ETV, now the buzz in the media is that Ambani is looking to buy 26 per cent stake in multi-system operators and cable operators.

Though Hathway Cable & Datacom has denied of having any such talks with Reliance Industries Ltd and Den Networks declined to comment on speculative reports, the listed cable companies have seen a boost in their stock prices.

Hathway was the biggest beneficiary on Monday as its shares closed at Rs 132.80 on BSE, up 12.11 per cent from its previous close. Similarly, Den Networks scrip jumped 6.25 per cent to close at Rs 63.75.

Media reports stated that RIL is eyeing a minimum of 26 per cent stake MSOs and independent cable operators with a large subscriber base. A report in a leading financial daily mentioned that Den Networks, Digicable Networks, Hathway, IndusInd Media and Communications (InCable) as well as some “independent multi-system operators and smaller operators with good regional presence” could be approached by RIL as part of its broadband TV business plans.

Later in the day, Hathway said in a clarification to the BSE that nobody from RIL has ever approached the company or anybody associated with the company and that “the two newspaper reporters never called anybody in our organisation. Hence, the newspaper report is baseless and untrue in relation to whatever has been quoted with respect to our Company."

Den Networks also said that it is the company‘s policy not to comment on speculative media reports and any information on strategic investments will be brought to the notice of the stock exchange as is required under the provisions of listing agreement.

Meanwhile, the other listed cable company Wire & Wireless (India) Ltd (WWIL) saw a jump of 3.68 per cent and closed at Rs 7.32 per share.

Hinduja Ventures, which operates InCable, closed at Rs 318, up 2.63 per cent on Monday.

Shares of RIL, however, closed 2.55 per cent lower at Rs 713.40.

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