Videocon D2H Plans $150-200 mln IPO

November 1, 2012 9:36 AM IST

The satellite TV broadcast services arm of Videocon Group plans to raise between $150 million and $200 million through an initial public offering of shares, four sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The unit, Videocon D2H, has picked Swiss bank UBS and Indian investment banks Enam Securities and ICICI Securities as advisors for the share sale, the sources said, declining to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

The company plans to file the draft prospectus for the share offering by the end of next month and launch it in the first half of next year depending on market conditions, two of the sources told Reuters.

Billionaire Venugopal Dhoot, who controls Videocon Group declined to comment. Videocon Group has interests in consumer electronics, telecoms and power.

Videocon D2H, which launched its operations in 2009, plans to use the share sale proceeds to expand within the country, the sources said.

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Its rivals include Tata-Sky, a venture between the Tata Group and British Sky Broadcasting, Airtel DTH of telecoms operator Bharti Airtel and Reliance Big TV, owned by Reliance Communications.

The founders of Videocon D2H were earlier in talks with some private equity firms to raise between $75 million and $100 million by selling a stake in the unit, sources said in November last year.

"The plan to rope in private equity players has been dropped as the company did not get a good valuation," one of the sources said on Wednesday. "The improved business outlook has triggered the share sale plans."

Direct-to-home television broadcast services in India have been gaining momentum due to growing spending power in Asia's third-largest economy. The companies are likely to benefit from the Indian government's move to digitise the cable network.

The government had set a deadline for completing digitisation of cable broadcast services in big Indian cities by Wednesday and across the country over the next two years, which has boosted the prospects of broadcasters.

Many Indian companies are firming up their share offering plans, encouraged by a 20 percent surge in the BSE Sensex so far this year and as receding worries about the European Union debt crisis boost appetite for equities.

Total proceeds from share sales in India in the first nine months of 2012 were $8.9 billion from 59 deals, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Shares in Videocon Industries Ltd, the group's flagship unit that makes consumer electronics products including washing machines and television sets, ended 0.2 percent higher on Wednesday at 170.30 rupees.

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