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DTH player Dish TV likely to go for rights issue of Rs 1,000 crore

Direct-to-home (DTH) player Dish TV is considering a Rs 1,000-crore rights issue. A board meeting on this is expected to be called soon, disclosed merchant banking sources.

The promoters in the DTH company, who have pledged their shares to pay off group debt, had looked at various methods, including talks with Airtel, to sell the company. However, the on-off discussions did not fructify in a deal.

A spokesperson for Essel Group, however, declined to comment on the issue till the time of going to press.

The shares of the company closed on Thursday at Rs 15.5 — down 8.82 per cent.

In a regulatory filing last week, the company said its lenders had invoked 51.1 million pledged promoter shares, following which the shareholding of the promoter group firm’s direct media distribution ventures came down to 2.72 cent , from the earlier 4.87 per cent. The sale was done in four tranches over a period of time.

The promoters had offered a substantial portion of their equity as security for the credit facilities availed of by Essel Group.

Earlier in February, Dish TV had informed the bourses that the board had constituted a fund-raising committee to fulfil fund requirements.

The role of the committee, according to the intimation, was to explore and initiate the process of fund-raising through permissible modes and issue permissible securities for an amount up to Rs 1,000 crore in one or more tranches.

Dish TV is also said to be in talks with strategic partners in India and abroad after the speculated deal with Bharti Airtel was called off over differences in valuation. However, a concrete deal is yet to be finalised.

Recently, a statement issued by Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra denied speculations pertaining to the shares being released from the lenders at a lower price and sold to third-party investors at higher price points. It mentioned that Jawahar Goel, promoter and managing director of Dish TV India, had offered a substantial portion of his equity in the firm as security for the credit facilities availed of by Essel Group. Business Standard News

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