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ICICI Bank picks up 17.75% in NDTV

Partha Ghosh in New Delhi | August 25, 2003 08:49 IST

ICICI Bank has picked up a 17.75 per cent stake in New Delhi Television Ltd. The bank had been issued 3,631,011 equity shares in the company prior to the proposed fresh equity infusion by Standard Chartered Pvt Ltd (Mauritius) Ltd, NDTV informed the government recently.

However, it could not be ascertained how much ICICI Bank has paid for the stake. The Standard Chartered deal, which is similar in terms of the number of shares issued (3,428,387 shares), will make NDTV richer by around Rs 53 crore (Rs 530 million). Standard Chartered is buying the shares at a premium of around Rs 144 per share of Rs 10 each.

When contacted, NDTV president Prannoy Roy said he was not aware of any new investment.

The issue of shares to ICICI Bank will help NDTV to keep the foreign-holding component within the cap of 26 per cent after Standard Chartered picks up a stake.

If ICICI Bank had not been issued the shares, foreign holding in the company, along with Standard Chartered's proposed investment, would have crossed 30 per cent. With ICICI Bank picking up a stake, the foreign holding has come down from 16.47 per cent to 13.56 per cent.

However, after Standard Chartered picked up a 14.35 per cent stake, foreign holding in the company would rise to 25.96 per cent, sources pointed out. At the same time, ICICI Bank's stake would be reduced from 17.75 per cent to 15.2 per cent.

Standard Chartered's investment is awaiting approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The government had sought a declaration from Standard Chartered, saying it did not have a financial or technical collaboration with any other company operating in a similar or allied field. This had been duly furnished, government sources told Business Standard.

NDTV, which turned broadcaster earlier this year, operates two news channels - NDTV 24X7 in English and NDTV India in Hindi.

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