US investment firm ups stake in Den Networks

MUMBAI: An existing US-based investing fund has expressed bullish in the shares of Den Networks, upping its stake by one per cent in the multi-system operator (MSO) for around Rs 145 million.

College Retirement Equities Fund has purchased 1.3 million shares, taking its total stake to 5.93 per cent in the Sameer Manchanda-promoted cable network.

TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund) Investment Management LLC, a financial services firm with $487 billion in assets under management, bought the shares on 11 July. Den Networks on that day opened at Rs 108.70 per share on the BSE and closed higher at Rs 112.75. The open market transaction, the price of which is undisclosed, would have been somewhere in between.

With 5.93 per cent stake, TIAA-CERF is the largest non-promoter shareholder of the company. Other shareholders in Den include StanChart IL and FS Asia Infrastructure G (4.98%) and Network 18 Media And Investments Limited (3.08%) among others. The firm is a leader in helping those in the academic, medical, cultural, governmental and research fields plan for retirement.

Den‘s stock climbed 7.29 per cent to close Friday at Rs 122.10 on the BSE.

"The purchase of Den‘s shares by an existing investor has been the main reason behind the stock going up. It remains to be seen whether this rally will sustain. The scrip price should logically go up just before digitisation in the four metros. There is still an element of uncertainty on whether the digitisation deadline sticks this time around, though the government has sent firm signals to the industry that there would be no further extension," a media analyst at a broking firm said.

Besides cable TV distribution, Den is part of a joint venture company called Media Pro Enterprise India that distributes Star, Zee and Turner channels in India.

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