With the country's bellwether index scaling back to 8,500-9,500 levels of Sensex, a few companies are revisiting their plans of tapping public equity.Network 18 and Raghav Behl promoted IBN 18 Broadcast(formerly Global Broadcast News) is planning to come up with a qualified institutional placement(QIP) of 11.2 million shares at Rs 102 per share aggregating upto Rs 114.28 crore.

The company which owns news channels IBN7 and CNN IBN, had in September(just before the market crash) announced plans to raise Rs 400 crore through a public issue, private placement or a QIP. The proposed QIP would dilute the equity base of IBN 18 by 7.45%.

The decision to go for a QIP comes at a time when all forms of fund raising activity in India have come to a standstill. While the primary market has not seen any activity for over one month, private equity firms have adopted a cautious wait and watch approach.

The hardest hit has been QIPs. There has been just one QIP this financial year(since April'08). Over the last two years QIPs had become one of the major routes of fund raising for public listed firms as the markets were on a bull run. QIPs which started in 2006, had allowed Indian firms to garner Rs 25,708.9 crore during 2007-08 through 38 issues, according to data compiled by research agency Prime Database.

Besides operating an English and a Hindi news channel, IBN 18 also runs a Marathi news channel through a 50:50 joint venture with Maharashtra's Lokmat Group. It also operates the recently launched general entertainment channel Colors in a tie-up with global media giant Viacom. IL&FS Private Equity holds about 7.6% stake in IBN 18.

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