GBN to fund Rs 708 million for Hindi news expansion and repayment of debt

MUMBAI: Global Broadcast News Ltd (GBN) will use a major part of the proceeds of its proposed Rs 1.05 billion initial public offering (IPO) for funding expansion into the Hindi news genre and repaying debt.

The company plans to pump in Rs 458.50 million in the Hindi news genre while Rs 250 million will be towards loan repayment. GBN, a TV18 Group company, manages English news channel CNN-IBN and Hindi channel IBN7.

On 25 July, GBN had entered into a share subscription cum shareholders agreement with the members of the Gupta family, BK Fincap Private Limited and Jagran TV Private Limited to subscribe to 76,485 equity shares, or 49 per cent, of the issued capital of BK Fincap for a total consideration of Rs 680 million. BK Fincap is the holding company of Jagran TV Limited which owns and operates the Hindi language news channel, Channel 7.

Out of the total consideration of Rs 680 million, GBN has already paid Rs 336.5 million. GBN is also under a contractual obligation to infuse Rs 115 million in BK Fincap before 31 December, 2006. So GBN will have to make a balance investment of Rs 458.50 million. "We propose to fund the entire expenses for the project through equity, which will be utilised from the net proceeds (0f the IPO)," the company said in its draft red herring prospectus filed with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

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