Cable TV

Siti Cable gets Rs 140.25 crore investment from promoters

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MUMBAI: After getting a shot of Rs 102.75 crore last week, multi system operator (MSO) Siti Cable has now finally received the third and last tranche that its promoters had intended to release.  In an announcement to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the MSO has said that it has received Rs 140.25 crore today. Within a span of a week, Rs 243 crore has been invested in all.

The release on the BSE reads: “As per the terms of 16,20,00,000 warrants issued by the company on 19 March 2013 on preferential basis, the allotment committee of the board of directors has upon receipt of balance of  75 per cent consideration aggregating to Rs 140,25,00,000 approved further allotment of 9,35,00,000 equity shares upon conversion of such remaining warrants at an issue price of Rs 20 per share to the allottees: Essel Media Ventures and Essel International.”

It was in March 2013 that the company got the nod for getting Rs 324 crore, out of which Rs 81 crore flowed in that month itself. Even though, the promoters had time till September 2014 to flush out the rest, the decision to invest it all was taken recently. Following which, the next two tranches have been released for the MSO.

With this, the total promoter shareholding has risen to 72.82 per cent.

Not only this, the MSO also claims to have reached a subscriber base of 40 lakh digital customers as on 31 March 2014. “Encouraged by the significant improvement in the performance in FY 13-14 and to support the aggressive growth plan to grow the subscriber base to 1 crore  in FY 14-15, the promoters have invested additional Rs 243 crore in the business,” the MSO said in a release sent today.

The funds will be utilised primarily for business expansion and to partially reduce debt.

Essel Group and Zee chairman Subhash Chandra through a statement said, “The Indian television distribution industry is on the cusp of high growth value phase as it marches towards the digitisation of balance phases of cable television in the country. With the change in leadership last year, Siti Cable has driven higher revenue and profitability through relentless focus on operational excellence despite uncertain environment. Our sustained investment in this sector will further accelerate the growth momentum and will serve the digital cable TV viewing needs of many more million Indians on Siti Cable Network.”

Commenting on this development, Siti Cable CEO VD Wadhwa said, “For the wider digitisation roll out, the company needs to invest in upgrading its digital infrastructure further and enter into newer strategic markets. We plan to seed over six million set-top-boxes in phase III and IV markets through organic and in organic growth. We believe that we are well poised to benefit from the ongoing digitisation implementation and ready to penetrate the market at a faster rate.”

Package wise billing and collection has already been initiated in the phase I. The company estimates that by beginning of the next quarter, package wise billing and collection will be in line. The MSO claims to have made significant progress on subscriber wise billing and collections in its phase-II markets as well. “The company is far ahead of other operators in terms of subscriber wise billing and collection,” said a statement released by the company.

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