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Media firm UTV issues clarification on 15.8 per cent, Rs 460 million private placement

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Media firm UTV has clarified reports about a foreign investor picking up a stake in it

These reports appeared in some dailies on 29 March 2002 and were in respect of a fresh round of equity that UTV is receiving from Mauritius-based CDP Capital. These stated that the latter's application to invest 15 per cent at a cost of Rs 585 million in UTV Software Communications was given government clearance.

In a press release issued today UTV says the facts are as follows:

a) UTV, one of India's largest media and content companies, is involved in TV production, Animation, Motion Picture production and distribution and Allied content activities like corporate ad film production and post-production studios. UTV has agreed to a private placement of fresh shares to CDPQ of Canada.

b) CDPQ headquartered in Montreal Canada, is one of the largest equity investors in the world, and the largest in Canada, where it controls the pension funds of all citizens of Quebec. CDPQ has holdings in media all over the world, and owns close to 12% of MGM Hollywood.

c) CDPQ has made a fresh equity investment in UTV of Rs 46 crore (Rs 460 million) and picked up a 15.8 per cent stake. It has also bought shares from other investors including Warburg Pincus, thereby having an equity holding of approx 30 per cent in UTV

d) Post this transaction, the promoter group lead by Ronnie Screwvala will continue to hold 40 per cent, CDPQ will hold 30 per cent , News Corp/Star will hold 15 per cent and the balance 15% is held by various Financial investors including Mitsui of Japan and IL&FS.

e) At a time when the overall equity market is sluggish, this is the one of the few placements, especially in the media industry.

f) For UTV this placement comes as a precursor to the possibility of an IPO next year.

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