IBN18 ups stake in Viacom18 to 33.7%

MUMBAI: IBN18 has invested Rs 2.63 billion to hold a 33.71 per cent stake in Viacom18 Media, the joint venture company with media conglomerate Viacom that runs channels such as MTV, Vh1, Nick, and Colors in India.

IBN18 now has the option to purchase an additional 16.29 per cent stake in Viacom18, resulting in an aggregate stake of 50 per cent in the joint venture entity.

Sources say IBN18 plans to raise Rs 1.50 billion through qualified institutional placement (QIP) to complete its holding of 50 per cent stake in Viacom18.

IBN18 had earlier raised Rs 1.14 billion through QIP at a rate of Rs 102 per share, while the promoters had additionally infused Rs 2.41 billion in equity.

By the end of December 2008, IBN18 had acquired 6.6 per cent of Viacom18. For the 50 per cent stake, the price is fixed at $62.5 million ($50.5 million for the transfer and $12 million as option premium - inclusive of costs of funding).

Meanwhile, IBN18, which houses news channels CNN IBN, IBN7 and a JV Marathi news channel IBN Lokmat, has posted a consolidated net loss of Rs 920.01 million for the fiscal ended 31 March 2009.

The net loss has expanded as in FY'08 the company had suffered a loss of Rs 234.45 million.

Revenue rose 38.96 per cent to Rs 1.83 billion for FY'09, as against Rs 1.32 billion a year ago. Expenditure moved up 94.34 per cent to Rs 2.57 billion, compared to Rs 1.32 billion in FY'08.

The results of Viacom18 Media will get consolidated once IBN18 holds 50 per cent in the JV.

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