IndusInd Media plans to raise $100 mn ahead of IPO

MUMBAI: IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd, the media subsidiary company of Hinduja Ventures Ltd, plans to raise $100 million, a major chunk of which will be used to fund acquisitions.

The multi-system operator (MSO) has separately raised Rs 1 billion of debt from General Electric (GE), a senior executive in the company said.

IMCL, which operates its cable TV business under the InCablenet brand, has mandated Deutsche Bank to raise fresh capital.
“We are in the market to raise $100 million. We have mandated Deutsche Bank for this. We are looking at various options including convertible instruments,” IMCL managing director and chief executive officer Ravi Mansukhani told

IMCL plans to use three-fourth of the amount raised for acquiring cable TV networks. “We are looking at small and big-ticket acquisitions. We want to build size and up the valuations of the company before we head for an initial public offering (IPO) in future date. For digitisation, we have a separate funding plan to meet the capex requirements,” said Mansukhani.

IMCL had earlier planned an IPO but changed its stance as the newly listed cable TV entities, Den Networks and Hathway Cable & Datacom, have dropped in market value.

“We believe the value of the top-rung MSOs will get a significant boost once the government fixes up a schedule for digitisation. We want to also expand on our size before we go for a public float,” said Mansukhani. 
Even on the acquisition front, IMCL has changed gears. Earlier, the focus was to buy small-sized cable TV networks and expand geographies.

“We see an opportunity out there when the other MSOs are not on a buying spree. The valuations have dropped and we are ready to make big-ticket acquisitions ahead of the government’s digitisation schedule. The acquisition focus now will be not on expanding into new geographies but on consolidating and growing in existing operational cities,” said Mansukhani.

IMCL plans to have a strong broadband story once the digital path is properly spelt out. The MSO is currently experimenting on new technologies where it will not have to entirely overhaul its network to load on broadband capability.

“We won’t have a problem building up broadband revenues once we have pushed the digital set-top boxes in. The script will change after the government announces the sunset date for the digitally notified areas. It is companies like You Telecom who will need to grow their cable TV presence in order to provide broadband,” said Mansukhani.

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