Network 18 to raise 2 billion via rights issue

MUMBAI: Network 18 will be raising around Rs 2 billion through a rights issue to fund the film business, pay back debt and enter into other media opportunities.

The company, which holds TV 18 Group, also houses Studio 18 and Shop 18. While Studio 18 is engaged in film business, Shop 18 is a television network dedicated to home shopping.

"We will be using the money to fund our movie business and also retire some debt. We are also looking at opportnities in entering into new lines of media business," says a source in the company.

Network 18 board today also approved the rights issue of partly convertible cumulative preference shares (CCPS) of Rs 200 (face value) each in the ratio of 1:5.

A detailed structure and other terms of the issue will be decided later. The rights issue committee of the Network 18 board will work in consultation with the lead managers to the issue.

Director Sanjay Ray Chaudhuri shall be excluded from the promoter category of the company. "In any future correspondence with the Stock Exchanges / shareholders etc., name of Chaudhuri shall not be included in the Promoter / Promoter Group of the company," Network 18 said in a statement.

Meanwhile, TV 18's board has declared an interim dividend of 40 per cent or Rs 2 per equity share of Rs 5 each.

Network 18 fell 6.2 per cent on the BSE to close the day at Rs 322.25 even as its board approved a rights issue. TV 18, on the other hand, slipped 5.42 per cent to end at Rs 525.20.

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