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Videocon plans mega FCCB issue to fund expansion

Jayanta Mallick

Kolkata , Jan. 2

VIDEOCON has planned a mega FCCB issue to finance its expansion plans. The office of the Videocon Chairman, Mr Venugopal Dhoot, confirmed to Business Line that the company was "in advance stages of raising funds through issue of FCCBs in global market."

In an e-mailed response to queries, Videocon said it has appointed a syndicate of global banks such as Barclays Bank, DBS Bank, Lehman Brothers and CLSA to facilitate the proposed transaction.

"The offering circular in draft format (without the terms and conditions of the issue) is currently being circulated among investors. Issue size will be finalised around the middle of this month. The total deal is expected to be completed by the later part of January," the chairman's office said.

According to sources, the size of FCCB issue could be in the range between $500 and $750 million in one or more tranches in line with the aggregate investments planned for its glass panels, consumer durables components and energy-related business.

Bharuch expansion: The company said expansion of the Bharuch CPT glass panel plant is in its final stage of implementation. The firing of the furnace would take place by the end of first quarter of 2006. The capacity of CPT panel plant would reach 24 million units by the end of 2006 and it would become the principal supply source for the company globally after the Thomson acquisition.

The Italian facility will be made the technology hub and incubator for the display devices for the company's global operations. Designs and technologies for slim, extra slim and 16x9 format would be developed in Italy. Last month, Videocon acquired 81 per cent stake in Eagle Corporation Ltd, an offshore entity, which had interests relating to manufacture of CPT of Thomson SA. Eagle has become a wholly owned subsidiary thereby technically completing the Thomson acquisition.

Components biz: At present, the component business (dominated by glass panels, compressors and motors) represents 60 per cent of the total turnover with the oil business (it has 25 per cent interest in Ravva oil & gas field) contributing the rest.

Meanwhile, the amalgamated audited results of Videocon Industries and Videocon International for a 15-month financial year ended September 30, 2005 has been approved by the board. "However, these do not include the activities of Thomson acquisition as those were effective only from October 1, 2005," the company note said.

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