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Neo Sports Broadcasting Pvt Ltd has got approval from Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the nodal agency that clears foreign investment proposals, to bring in Rs 258 crore as FDI. The funds have been raised form private equity investors like Oman Investment Fund (OIF) and 3i Sports Media (Mauritius), reports Business Standard. 3i and OIF have earlier invested in Nimbus Communications, which is the parent company of Neo Sports Broadcasting.

The investment is being made through issue of fresh equity shares and equity-linked instruments like compulsory convertible preference shares. The funds will be used by Neo to expand its two existing sports channels. They will also be used to launched two more channels in the lifestyle and films genre.

Nimbus Communications, the parent company of Neo Sports Broadcasting, had raised $125 million from 3i Group, OIF, Cisco, Deutsche Bank and Americorp Ventures in one of the largest PE deals in media. Nimbus shot to fame when it bagged the global rights to Indian cricket till

2010.

According to earlier reports, Nimbus Communications was looking to raise over $140 million for a 26% stake, with a valuation of over $550 million. It had appointed UBS as adviser for the deal.

Media Firms Look To Raise Funds

Even though funding environment is getting tougher and PE/VC deals are falling by substantial amounts, media is still attracting investments. Recently, Sequoia Capital and Nexus India Capital backed What’s On India Media Ltd, which is in the process of getting a licence to uplink non news and current affairs television channel in the country.

Several established media properties, especially in the news broadcasting business, are currently looking to raise funds as the industry has been impacted by falling ad revenues. These include Times Global Broadcasting Co Ltd, Network 18 and UTV. Times Global has been

promoted by BCCL Group, which owns Times Now and upcoming business news channel ET Now.

Network 18, the TV18 Groups' holding company, is raising Rs 200 crore mostly for its joint venture Viacom 18, which runs Colors and MTV. UTV is also looking to rope in a strategic investor for its business news channel UTVi. Media firm NDTV is also restructuring its business into news and non-news which will allow it to raise fresh foreign funds.

 

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