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Radio Mirchi, Orange in race to acquire Big FM

New Delhi:Leading FM Radio network Radio Mirchi, a part of Entertainment Network India Limited (ENIL) and Radio Orange have bid Rs 251 crore to acquire BIG FM Radio network, sources said.

Haryana-based Sapphire FM is the other bidder in the race for BIG FM, which is undergoing an insolvency process.

Incidentally, Sapphire FM has also made a bid of Rs 251 crore for Big FM.

The bidders couldn’t immediately be reached for comments.

Both the bidders — Radio Mirchi & Orange FM consortium and Sapphire FM — have offered to pay the bid amount within 30 days.

Sources close to the process also revealed that the lenders are likely to ask both the bidders to revise their bids upward.

Also, Rs 60 crore cash lying in the company’s accounts will also go to the lenders, they said.

After considering the cash at Big FM, the total recovery for lenders could be as high as 55 to 60 per cent against the total admitted claims of Rs 578 crore.

Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) owned by BIG FM is the country’s largest radio network with 58 stations and reaches out to over 1,200 towns and over 50,000 villages.

In February this year, RBNL, on the plea of IDBI Trusteeship Services Ltd, was admitted to insolvency. According to the insolvency application filed by IDBI Trusteeship Services on behalf of L&T Investment Management Limited, RBNL failed to repay a debt of Rs 175 crore.

Of the total admitted claims of the lenders of Rs 578 crore, IndusInd Bank’s claim is Rs 172 crore, HSBC Asset Management Rs 238 crore, Franklin Templeton MF Rs 103 crore and Reliance Commercial Finance’s claim Rs 64 crore.

According to the insolvency application filed by IDBI Trusteeship Services on behalf of L&T Investment Management Limited, Reliance Broadcast Network failed to clear financial debt of Rs 175 crore. L&T Investment Management Limited had subscribed to NCDs worth Rs 200 crore issued by Reliance Broadcast in three tranches in 2015 and 2016.

IDBI Trustee Services acted as the trustee for L&T Investment Management Services, while Reliance Capital acted as the guarantor for Reliance Broadcast Network. At the time of redemption of the NCDs in 2020, Reliance Broadcast failed to make the payment.

(Published 29 October 2023, 12:15 IST)

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