RBNL to seek shareholder approval for delisting

MUMBAI: As the stock markets closed today, those in the trade saw the Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) shares go down from the opening of Rs 52.35 to Rs 49.05 at close. The stock was dragged down by the news that the Anil Ambani group company had got board approval to delist from the stock exchanges.

It is to be noted that the ADA group which had a 72 per cent shareholding in RBNL earlier but has since reportedly taken that up to 75 per cent will now have to buy out another 15 per cent of floating stock from the public in order to meet the 90 per cent promoter holding requirement set by Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for complete delisting. Estimates are that the tab for buying up the full public shareholding for the ADA group will be in the region of Rs 100 crore.

RBNL is involved in various media segments which includes: Radio (92.7 Big FM), television broadcasting (Big CBS,  Big Magic, Big RTL Thrill), outdoor (Big OOH), Experiential marketing and production (Big Production).  Its radio business is among the front runners in the country and proftable, while its television vertical is yet to make a substantial impact in the broadcasting firmament, though it accounts for about 30 per cent of its revenues.

“The management of RBNL wants to re-structure the company,” says a financial analyst. “And it’s easier for the company to do so if it is not in the public domain; you can avoid following many listing guidelines; you don’t need shareholder and SEBI and stock exchange permissions to make changes if it delists and goes private once again.”

RBNL officials refused to make any comments. But a perusal of the company’s latest quarter financials on a consolidated basis shows that it is continuing to make losses though they are being shaved year on year and quarter on quarter. In Q1 to June 2013, it generated total revenues of Rs 61.13 crore and a net loss of Rs 15.76 crore as against a revenue of Rs 65 crore and a loss of Rs 24.15 crore in the previous preceding quarter. In its previous full financial year to March 2013, its revenues were at Rs 233.53 crore with losses at Rs 91 odd crore.

As per the board meeting held yesterday, the company will now seek approval of its shareholders through a postal ballot in terms of the SEBI delisting regulations.

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