Jagran Prakashan sets IPO price band at Rs 270 - Rs 324

MUMBAI: Jagran Prakashan Limited (JPL) has fixed the price band of its public issue at Rs 270 to Rs 324 per share, putting the valuation of the company at around Rs 13.5-16.2 billion.

JPL, which is the publisher of the country's largest ciruclated daily Dainik Jagran, will have an initial public offering of 11,544,873 shares of Rs 10 each. This will comprise a fresh issue of 10,039,020 shares and a Green Shoe option of up to 1,505,853 shares at a premium to be determined through a 100 per cent book building process.

The issue will open for subscription on 25 January and close on 31 January.

The promoters of JPL also run a TV business through a separate company. Channel7, a Hindi news channel, started operations early last year.

JPL will use a portion of the proceeds for acquisition and joint ventures, the company's CMD Mahendra Mohan Gupta said in a press conference today.

JPL proposes to invest approximately Rs 800 million in various strategic acquisitions/investments in print and other media. The company also intends to employ approximately Rs 400 million towards the expansion of its outdoor media business.

Among the other plans include the launching of a new Hindi newspaper brand in some of its existing markets. In order to avoid cannibalizing Hindi newspaper Danik Jagran’s market share, the new brand product will be aimed at being different from the current one, by positioning and a lower cover price. The second paper would tap the advertising potential of those who cannot afford the rates quoted by Dainik Jagran, Gupta said.

Last year, Independent News & Media PLC had picked up a 26 per cent equity stake in JPL for 28 million euros ($33.79 million) in June 2005. After the IPO, the holding of Independent News & Media will dilute to around 20.80 per cent. The promoters of JPL will hold around 51 per cent.

DSP Merrill Lynch and ICICI Securities are the managers of the issue.

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