Television

Sun TV rises again; seeks board approval for buyback

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MUMBAI: The Sun TV Network stock hit a high of Rs 459 on 20 March, 2015, on the back of good results. But the share starting sliding thereafter and hit a low of Rs 256.05 on 22 July 2015. 

This followed its promoter Kalanithi Maran’s woes with SpiceJet, the Ministry of Home Affairs’ denial of security clearance to Sun Network’s 33 channels, the income tax authorities cracking the whip on the 50 year old Maran and his wife Kaveri.

Naysayers and the media said that the two had met their match and they would be forced to sell their holdings in the listed entity and exit the media business. 

Then the government barred the group’s sister company Red FM from taking part in the FM radio phase III auctions.

But lo and behold the husband-wife duo did not take things lying down. Red FM went to the courts, which ruled in the company’s favour and it was permitted to take part in the e-Auctions. 

And the Marans have come back with a vengeance. The first rural + urban BARC ratings saw Sun TV emerging as the highest viewed channel in India. And the company declared healthy results for the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Additionally, the company is sitting on Rs  750 crore in cash.

Now the Sun TV Network has informed the stock exchange that the company is holding a board meeting on 5 November to consider buying back its equity shares from the public. Buying back shares would involve paying cash and annulling them. 

The Marans hold about 75 per cent of the stock and hence may have to tender their some of their holdings to comply with Sebi restrictions. 

It was not clear at the time of writing if the company would go all the way and delist from the stock exchange or whether the buy back is being considered as a sign of the Maran’s confidence about the company’s future and hence boost investor sentiment. 

Meanwhile, the Sun TV shares spurted five per cent on 30 October to close the day at Rs 395.70. It hit an intraday high of Rs 411. 

Watch this space for more news. 

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