UTV comfortably placed on Hungama TV funding

MUMBAI: United Home Entertainment has substantially closed its financial requirement for kids channel Hungama TV and is in no urgency to find equity investors through private placement.

The company has obtained sanctions of Rs 200 million from banks. UTV Software Communications will provide a further Rs 200 million while its promoter Ronnie Screwvala will pump in Rs 50 million.

"We have no pressure on fund requirement for the next 12-18 months. We are not in a hurry to find equity investors," says UTV director operations and finance Ronald D'mello.

The initial plan was to offload appropriate stake through a private placement at an early stage. Screwvala holds 51 per cent stake in United Home Entertainment while UTV has the balance 49 per cent.

United Home Entertainment plans to invest Rs 750 million over three years. "Out of this amount, Rs 450 million is already arranged. The balance Rs 300 million will be raised from private placement at the appropriate time," says D'mello.

UTV has also decided to wait for Hungama TV to settle down before launching its initial public offerings (IPO). "By selling our entire 44 per cent stake in Vijay TV, we got Rs 315 million. Our fund requirement is now largely taken care of and we can wait for the IPO till the channel is launched to capture its valuation," says D'mello.

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