Television

TV Today Network plans IPO by year end

NEW DELHI: The Aroon Purie-controlled TV Today Network is giving finishing touches to a draft prospectus to be filed shortly with the Securities Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) for the company's maiden public offering.

The company, which looks after the running of the popular Aaj Tak news channel and its English language sibling Headlines Today, is aiming at raising between Rs 1300 million and Rs 1500 million from the market, according to Mumbai-based sources in the capital market.

However, it is still not clear at the moment how much would be offered to the public and by what quantum the promoter(s)'s holding would come down post the initial public offer (IPO). The market is abuzz with news that TV Today Network would soon be starting road shows in about 10 cities, including the four metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, to create an awareness amongst the public and the investor community about its IPO.

Merchant bankers JM Morgan Stanley are the lead managers for the IPO that is being planned to hit the market around the third week of December, coinciding with the festive season. The procedure is that after filing the draft prospectus, the formal listing can be done slightly less than a month after that. SEBI generally takes three weeks from the date of filing the papers to complete its scrutiny.

Market sources also indicated that apart from the Bombay Stock Exchange, the TV Today Network scrip may be listed on some of the regional stock exchanges too. However, a final decision on this is yet to be taken by the lead managers and the company concerned.

As per information available, ICICI and the Bharti group hold minority stakes in TV Today Network with the latter's shareholding being 10 per cent. According to market sources, TV Today has shortlisted a public relations company, Integral PR, to undertake some publicity work relating to its IPO. In the race for this account were two other agencies, including Mumbai-based Sampark.

In the recent past, another media company that went public was BAG Films, promoted by the husband-wife duo of Member of Parliament Rajiv Shukla and Anurradha Prasad. The company had offered 25 per cent to the public with the issue size being about Rs 140 million. The issue was over subscribed by eight times.

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