NDTV issue closes, oversubscribed 36+ times

NEW DELHI: The initial public offer (IPO) of the Prannoy Roy-controlled NDTV was oversubscribed over 36 times at the end of a weeks bidding process today with a total of 450,000 applications.

The retail portion of the IPO, which amounted to 25 per cent of the total shares being offered in the market, was oversubscribed 34 times, the qualified institutional buyers segment was oversubscribed 11 times while the high net worth individuals (HNI) was oversubscribed 109 times..

More than 90 per cent demand was at Rs 70 hich was the upper band followed by 15-16 crore shares at the cut off price

The formal listing of the NDTV share on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange, which would herald trading in the scrip, is likely to happen between 15 and 19 May. Capital market sources said the listing would definitely happen on or before 19 May as by that time the other formalities would have been completed.

NDTV is the third media company in the last 18 months or so to have gone public after the Anurradha Prasad and Rajiv Shukla-promoted BAG Films and Aroon Purie-promoted TV Today Network, which runs the Aaj Tak and Headlines Today news channels.

The bidding process for the NDTV IPO through the book-building process started on 21 April and the company is seeking to raise Rs 1,090 million via the capital market. The IPO comprises fresh issue of shares 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 (news) venture like the one run by his company, 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).

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