Television

NDTV IPO oversusbcribed 3 times

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NEW DELHI: The Prannoy Roy-controlled NDTV, one of the finest TV production houses and a broadcasting house in the country, today started its journey towards being a public company. On the first day, its initial public offer was oversusbcribed 3.31 times or 331 per cent.

According to information available from the capital market, over 90 per cent of the bids received today were nearing the upper price band. 

Shares of the company are getting listed on the Mumbai and National Stock Exchanges in a price band of Rs 63-70 per share of Rs 4 each.

The bidding process for the IPO through the book-building process started today and would end on 28 April. The IPO had been oversubscribed 1.36 times by 10.26 a.m., according to the National Stock Exchange.

NDTV is seeking to raise Rs. 1,090 million through the IPO, which comprises fresh issue as well as an offer for sale. The company, which is reserving Rs 90 million worth of shares for employees, is offering slightly over 25 per cent of the company's shareholding to the public.

At a recent press conference here in Delhi, NDTV chairman Prannoy Roy said that in a venture like this technology, infrastructure, etc are important,but not as important as the human resources of the company.

"People matter more and the rest come after that only,'' he had explained. According to the prospectus, the net proceeds raised from the issue would be deployed towards "working capital requirements, repayment of loans and for general corporate purposes." Net proceeds from the sale of existing shares (5.9 million shares) will be paid to the selling shareholders.

NDTV's net worth as of 31 March 2003 and nine months period ended 31 December 2003 was approximately Rs 1.199 billion and Rs 1.285 billion, respectively.

For the nine months period ended 31 December 2003, the company posted a net loss of Rs 473.77 million. The book value per share of Rs 4 each, as of 31 March 2003 and nine months period ended 31 December 2003 was approximately Rs 28.52 and Rs 27.16, respectively.

Roy explained that investors should evaluate the channel's initial public offer on future growth potential like increasing viewership, better utilisation of advertising time, costless foreign growth and future opportunities in outsourcing technology (all of which he's confident of).

"We have historically made profits all through and made good dividends. Investors should consider this while taking a decision," he had said.

The channel has opted for the book-building route for this issue, after which promoters will continue to hold a majority 53 per cent stake. Asked whether the company was planning to launch a business news channel, Roy did not rule it out, saying all the options are open.

However, Roy did indicate that the two NDTV channels are fast catching up with competition in all segments. Taking a dig at former ally Star, Roy had said during the roadshows that Star did not start an English news channel because it would have had to take on NDTV 24x7, which, according to him, is No. 2 news channel in the country, slightly behind market leader Aaj Tak.

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