Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nimbus planning Rs 300 crore IPO

Broadcaster Nimbus Communication, which operates sports channel Neo Sports, is in talks with banks to float an initial public offer (IPO) for nearly Rs 300 crore.

Sources said that four domestic banks and three global banks met the management early last week. The IPO is likely to hit the market in 6 months.

Confirming the development, the company’s spokesperson said, “The management has met banks for the IPO and we are at a very early stage of discussions.”

Early this year in January, three foreign private equity investors 3i, Cisco and Oman International Fund stuck a private equity investment deal with the broadcaster for Rs 552 crore.

The deal is one of the largest private equity investments in the media and entertainment sector.

At that time, Nimbus’ chairman Harish Thawani confirmed that this would be the final round of private equity investment before the company was listed. The investment was through compulsory convertible debentures which was likely to converted before the company’s listing.

Currently, Thawani holds 54 per cent stake in Nimbus. However, post the conversion, his stake would come down to around 40 per cent.

With the IPO proceeds, Nimbus plans to further strengthen and explore new avenues. The company is already gearing up with its home video foray.

Nimbus is believed to be considering a venture in video-on -demand and internet protocol television (IPTV) services having partnered with Cisco which has presence in the space.

The company plans to launch an entertainment channel and invest in sports management.

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