CDF to increase stake in USL

Century Direct Fund (CDF) of Mauritius LLC, which currently holds 18.42 per cent equity stakes in United Studios Ltd, will be increasing its stake by another one percent as TCFC Finance Ltd is selling out its stake in United Studios.

United Studios Ltd is a company under the umbrella of Unilazer group. Other group companies include United Teleshopping, United TV (UTV), a TV software production organisation, and UTV Interactive which is a wholly-owned susbidiary of UTV.

TCFC Finance Ltd held 71,000 equity shares constituting 0.77 per cent of the current paid up capital of United Studios. The investmend had been made as co-investor along with CDF to which TCFC was an advisor.

As a result of a restructuring of the operations of TCFC Finance, it has ceased to be an advisor to CDF and has agreed to sell its investment in United Studios to Century Direct Fund.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approved United Studios proposal recently. The other foreign shareholder in United Studios is Mitsui group of Japan which holds 18,49,990 shares aggregating to 20 per cent of the total paid up equity capital of the company.

Total foreign equity in United Studios amount to 38.42 per cent amounting to 35,54,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each.

Earlier, the government had given permission for foreign direct investment in United Studios subject to:

*All future laws on broadcasting will be applicable to United Studios and it will not claim any privilege or protection by virtue of prior approval.

*The company will not undertake any broadcasting from Indian soil unless specially permitted to do so by the government.

* There will be no obligation on the part of Doordarshan to buy TV software from the joint venture company, United Studios.

Earlier this year, Intel Pacific and GE Capital Mauritius Equity Investment picked up 12.86 and 6.98 per cent, respectively in United Teleshopping & Marketing Co. Ltd. Subsequently, the foreign equity in United Teleshopping has increased from 45.45 to 57.14 per cent amounting to Rs 360 lakh. United Teleshopping is in the process of issuing fresh equity of 13,50,000 shares of Rs 10 each in the revised paid up capital of Rs 630.07 lakh which will be subscribed as follows:

* Draper India International Mauritius-- 17.86 per cent
* Walden-Nikko Mauritius Company, Mauritius-- 19.44 per cent
* Intel Pacific Incorporation, USA -- 12.86 per cent
* GE Capital Mauritius Equity Investment --6.98 per cent.

Last year, UTV promoters had decided to buyout Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp's 37 per cent equity stake in the Indian media house. Part of the additional funding for this News Corp shareholding buyback came from FII, Warburg Pincus.

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