Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Jan 18, 2002
Corporate - Private Placement
Broadcast Worldwide to raise Rs 25 cr thru pvt placement
NEW DELHI, Jan. 17
BROADCAST Worldwide, which owns regional channels called TARA, is raising Rs 25 crore as part of its third round of funding. For that, it is in talks with domestic strategic investors.
Speaking to Business Line, Mr Ratikant Basu, Chairman, Broadcast Worldwide said, "Talks are on with three-four private parties for raising a total of Rs 25 crore. Financial institutions are not investing in media companies now. So we are talking to domestic private investors who are looking at media investments as long-term strategic investments."
The funds would be required for running the existing four Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, and Punjabi channels. It will also look at launching new channels once the market improves, which could be towards the middle of this year. "Right now the market is not ready for a new channel. If we launch new channels it could be only around June-July 2002," Mr Basu said.
According to initial plans, the new channel may not be a language channel in particular. Instead, it is likely to have a lot of Hindi programming but it will not be a complete Hindi channel as such, he said.
The third round of funding is likely to be closed before the end of the current financial year.
Meanwhile, the company had gone back on its earlier plan of entering Internet-related business and launch portals. According to Mr Basu, this will help the company to be more focussed.
Earlier, the company had raised Rs 18 crore in the first round. Three financial institutions, namely the Unit Trust of India (UTI), Industrial Development bank of India (IDBI) and Gujarat Venture Finance Ltd(GVFL) had brought in a total of Rs 45 crore in the second round.
Currently, Ratikant Basu & Associates holds one third stake in the company which include the five per cent stake held by Rupert Murdoch; Sterling Infotech holds one third stake while the remaining is held jointly by the three FIs.
When the second round closed around the beginning of the current financial year, the company had said that it would examine the IPO option for raising third round funds. But considering the current market situation, the company had decided to take the private placement route.
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