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HTMT to merge media units, plans IPO

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MUMBAI:Hinduja TMT may merge its media subsidiaries into a single entity and opt for an initial public offering (IPO) by next year.

Chairman Ashok Hinduja announced this at the company's annual general meeting on Tuesday. Among the companies that will be merged are InNetwork Entertainment Ltd (INEL), Cable Video India Ltd, IndusInd Entertainment Ltd (IEL) and IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd.

While the finer details of the IPO, including the size of the issue, are yet to be worked out, Hinduja said that Shop24Seven, the companys media and e-commerce company, will also go in for an IPO next year. The home shopping satellite TV channel was launched in November 2001. Hinduja said that the shopping channel was set to break even in 10 months of its existence.

HTMT recently acquired 100 per cent equity control in Cable Video India Limited (CVIL) by buying out the 49 per cent stake of Asia Vision Entertainment Private Ltd. CVIL handles the Hindi cable movie channel CVO and has a library of 1,600 movies, while INEL is into production, acquisition and distribution of films. IEL is into local TV content and operates the IN brand of cable TV channels in several languages.

HTMT will continue to focus on its IT business and is aiming at a cent per cent growth in turnover and 70 per cent rise in net profit, Hinduja said. Export earnings from media and IT sector, said Mr Hinduja, are expected to increase from Rs 500 million to Rs 1250 million in the current fiscal.

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