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 Reliance Industries Ltd, owned by Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani, is in talks to sell its news assets to India's Times Group, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd, which publishes The Times of India and owns news channels and news websites, is looking to hire advisers to run due diligence on Reliance's Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd, Bloomberg said, citing unnamed sources.

Reliance "firmly" denies the story, a company spokesman told Reuters via email. "The story is baseless and false."

The spokesman had earlier told Reuters that Reliance would not comment on speculations. "Our company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis," he had said.

A Bennett Coleman spokeswoman declined to comment.

Local media reported last week that Reliance was in talks with Japan's Sony Corp for a stake sale in Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd.

India's lucrative-but-crowded TV market is set to grow by more than 50% in the next three years, according to Statista, a statistics portal.

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