Blog Post

Anil Ambani Hints At Listing RBE; Could Become India’s Largest Listed Media Firm

Shortly after announcing a major investment in Hollywood, billionaire Anil Ambani said “all options are open” when asked if he was looking at listing Reliance Big Entertainment (RBE), PTI reports. “We are making a beginning now. All options are open. We will evaluate the options as we go along,” Ambani told reporters during a conference call announcing the deal.

Reliance Big Entertainment is part of the $81 billion Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, which has interests in telecom, energy, infrastructure and financial services. If and when the company lists, it will likely become India’s largest listed media firm. Zee Entertainment (current market cap: Rs7,111 crore ) and Sun TV Network (current market cap: Rs8,845 crore) are considered the large cap stocks in India’s media sector.

Both stocks are down about 30% from the levels of February last year, when it was reported that investor George Soros has picked up a 3% stake in Reliance Big Entertainment for $100 million, valuing the firm at $3 billion, or Rs12,000 crore as per the conversion rate then.

We now know that that deal was never done, as RBE chairman Amit Khanna confirmed to contentSutra. However, when the deal was reported, an unnamed Reliance spokesperson confirmed the figures and valuation to Business Standard, indicating the valuation the firm was seeking for itself.

A straightforward 30% discount on that valuation still puts RBE in the same bracket as Zee and Sun TV. And now, with the multiple Hollywood deals and a big planned foray into television broadcasting, the firm will likely seek a much greater valuation. It could well become India’s largest listed media company.

RBE’s businesses are divided into three broad categories–Internet and new media, film entertainment and broadcasting. Its Internet properties include movie download and rental portal BigFlix.com, social networking site BigAdda.com, gaming portal Zapak.com and mobile gaming portal JumpGames.com. The company also runs a Bollywood news portal BigOye.com

Film entertainment include film production business Big Pictures, exhibition business Big Cinemas and processing facility Adlabs.

Broadcasting include FM station Big 92.7 FM and Big Broadcasting. The latter was supposed to launch 22 new television channels and those plans are said to have been put on hold for the time being due to market conditions.