Hinduja group?s Amas Mauritius gets 5.1% stake in IMCL

MUMBAI: Amas Mauritius, a Hinduja group company, now owns 5.1 per cent equity stake in the country?s leading multi-system operator (MSO) IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL).

The Hindujas, thus, up their controlling stake in IMCL.

Amas acquired the stake on conversion of 74.15 million 12 per cent cumulative redeemable preference shares of IMCL it held. The conversion was done at a price of Rs 145 per share (Rs 10 face value plus Rs 135 premium per share), following approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) and its shareholders.

The conversion of the preference shares into equity shares resulted in Hinduja Ventures Ltd?s (HVL) stake in IMCL falling to 61.17 per cent from 65.78 per cent. HVL?s businesses include the MSO business, investments and treasury and real estate, but more than 80 per cent of the revenues come from the MSO business.

The shares of HVL closed at Rs 483 per share, down 1.56 per cent in a flat market, on Monday on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The MSO?s profit before tax in the second quarter ended 30 September narrowed to Rs 199.9 million from Rs 313.1 million in the first quarter on rise in expenditure on account of digitisation. Its income in the second quarter rose to Rs 1.36 billion from Rs 1.51 billion a quarter earlier.

The amount of capital deployed by HVL in the MSO business increased to Rs 3.96 billion from Rs 3.76 billion in the previous quarter.

Commenting on the performance of IMCL in the second quarter, HVL whole-time director Ashok Mansukhani said the advent of compulsory digitisation will help bring transparency in subscription numbers almost fivefold and help improve the top line and bottom line of the company.

The government has mandated digitisation in 38 more cities by 31 March 2013, after switching to digital delivery of cable TV in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata from 1 November. The revised deadline for switchover to digital delivery in Chennai is likely to be decided by the Madras High Court on Tuesday (tomorrow) after taking into consideration inputs from all the stakeholders.

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