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3i-Backed Nimbus Looks To Raise Over Rs 350Cr In IPO

05 October, 2010

Americorp Ventures, promoted by Spain-based NRI businessman Harish Fabiani, Oman Investment Fund and Cisco, are selling part of their shares in the proposed IPO of 3i-backed media firm Nimbus Communications.

Nimbus is looking to raise over Rs 350 crore in addition to the money that will be netted by existing institutional investors and some individual shareholders who have offered to sell their holdings, partly or fully. The exact breakup of who wants to sell how much is not yet clear.

Private equity firm 3i, the single largest shareholder of Nimbus with 30% stake, is staying put with its investment. The firm had put in a total of Rs 350 crore in multiple tranches.

But Oman Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Oman that invests globally in a diversified portfolio including private equity, finance services, real estate and other strategic projects, figures among the shareholders who are selling shares. The sovereign wealth fund that holds 28.6% through an investment arm Funderburk is estimated to have put in around Rs 406 crore since making its original investment in January 2007.

Cisco’s investment entity CSI Bd has in the same period infused close to Rs 106 crore and holds 7.3% at present.

Americorp is a long term investor in Nimbus having acquired the stake from another group firm Transatlantic Corporation few years ago. Transatlantic itself had invested Rs 30 crore way back in October 2001. Americorp holds around 3.48% in Nimbus.

Media firm Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd through Brand Equity Treaties Ltd owns 0.44% having invested Rs 12 crore in March this year, supposedly through ad-for-equity deal.

Nimbus is planning to use the bulk of fresh money for obtaining bank guarantee and provide security deposit for sports rights besides launching of new channels: Neo Cinema and Neo Zindagi. The rest of the money is to be used for acquisition of new broadcasting rights, upgradation of Neo infrastructure(standard definition or SD to high definition or HD) besides geographic expansion of Neo Cricket in North America.

Nimbus is promoted by Harish Thawani who along with his wife and other entities own 29% of the company which will get diluted to 23.6% post public issue.For the year ended March’10 Nimbus Communications had total income from sales and service of Rs 733 crore with net loss of Rs 142 crore. The firm has total accumulated consolidated loss of Rs 498 crore as of March’10. However at a standalone level it clocked total income of Rs 737 crore (including Rs 692 crore from sports rights) with net profit of Rs 29.4 crore.

Nimbus is a sports rights management company engaged in the acquisition, management and marketing of commercial rights relating to cricket events globally. Its joint venture company, Neo Sports Broadcast, owns and operates two 24-hour channels, Neo Cricket and Neo Sports(launched in October 2006). It also holds an indirect 48.94% stake in Neo Sports Broadcast through Zenith Sports Private Limited (Zenith), a joint venture company with one of the promoters and has the right of exercising the call option to acquire the remaining shares of Zenith.

Nimbus owns the global media rights for all international cricket matches organised by the BCCI in India until March 2014 and has inturn licensed the rights to Neo Sports Broadcast. It has also acquired and manage certain rights with respect to other sports federations, including Bangladesh Cricket Board, Asian Cricket Council Cricket Kenya and Singapore Cricket Association.

The company is also involved in the filmed entertainment business through distribution rights management, content generation and home video rental business under the brand Showtime Video. Its other businesses include production of television content as well as creation and maintenance of online cricket-related content through a proprietary website www.cricketnirvana.com.


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3i-Backed Nimbus Looks To Raise Over Rs 350Cr In IPO

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