TVTN lists on BSE, hits a high of Rs 225 in first min of trading

MUMBAI: The big ticket issue of TV Today that had garnered overwhelming response from retail investors and was over subscribed 35 times listed today on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

TV Today Network (TVTN) chairman Aroon Purie put the proceedings on track with a short inaugural address. The podium was also shared by TVTN executive director and CEO G Krishnan who called Purie the 'architect' who built the network 'brick by brick.' The BSE executive director and CEO Dr Manoj Vaish welcomed the TV Today debut on the Stock Exchange.

ELAAN-E-DEBUT: TVTN chairman Aroon Purie sounds the gong on Friday, 16 January 2004 to mark TVTN's debut on the BSE. ED & CEO G Krishnan (right) cheers him on.

Aroon Purie sounded off the gong at 9:55 am to flag off the trading at the BSE. Later, Purie couldn't keep himself from sounding off the gong a number of times (!) - perhaps he was mentally recording the resonance of the gong to cull it back from memory later.

The TV Today scrip listed on the BSE at Rs 220 at a premium of 132 per cent over its issue price of Rs 95, the scrip hit a high of Rs 225 within the first one minute of commencing trade. However, the stock toned down to Rs 179 in a depressed market before recovering in later trades to close its first session on D Street at Rs 181.35. The scrip generated high interest amongst investors with over 64.61 lakh TVTN shares changing hands on the BSE alone.

On the NSE, the stock listed at Rs 190 paced up to touch a high of Rs 310 but pared down to close at Rs 182.70. A massive 1.12 crore shares were traded on the NSE.

This, however, does not come as a surprise for a big ticket issue like TV Today. The scrip had been expected to start off well given the strong fundamentals of the group and the popularity of the flagship television news channel Aaj Tak.

Apart from Purie and Krishnan, present in good numbers at the listing ceremony were reporters and presenters of Aaj Tak and top brass suits from the Network's management including India Today director Anil Mehra. Basking in the glory of the moment were also seen senior officials of lead managers to the issue - JM Morgan Stanley and the co-lead managers Kotak Securities and ICICI Securities Ltd.

Replying to whether he was thinking of going the IPO way for Thomson Press as well - the India Today publishing company owned by him, Purie said there were no such plans in the pipeline at present. He confirmed that the funds raised through the maiden issue would be channeled into the existing network while he had no plans of diversifying into other television channels or entertainment properties.

The listing of the TV Today scrip kickstarts a new phase for the media sector as a number of major television players are expected to follow suit. The big daddies of television that are considering a foray into the capital markets this year include NDTV that according to market sources has a Rs 6000 million issue up its sleeve, B4U with a planned issue of Rs 1000 million, Sony Entertainment and possibly Star India as well. Others to walk that way are expected to be Nimbus Communications and Big B's AB Corp.

So far, Zee has been the front runner in the media sector, being the only media scrip to figure in the benchmark 30-scrip BSE Sensex.

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