In an significant development, Network18 group company Web18 has made its initial steps for an IPO in Nasdaq. Web18 is the internet arm of the Network18 Group. The group owns CNBC TV18, and CNBC Aawaz through Television Eighteen Ltd and CNN IBN, and Hindi channel IBN through another group entity Global Broadcast Network or GBN.
Network18 Media and Investments Ltd and its subsidiary Television Eighteen India Ltd jointly informed stock exchanges on Thursday that they have submitted a draft registration statement on a confidential basis to the US Securities and Exchanges Commission for an initial public offering of American Depository Shares in its Internet subsidiary Web18 Holdings Ltd.
Confidential filing does not require Web18 to disclose its financials or other sensitive information.
The statement said that the IPO is expected as market conditions permit, and is subject to Web18's public filing with the US SEC. The amount of mopney to be raised by ADS is not yet determined.
Web18 holds all the internet properties of the group. They include Moneycontrol.com, ibnlive.com, and the recently launched email site in.com, besides niche portals like tech2.com and cricketnext.com.
Web18's listing was rumoured in the Indian tech and investor circles for a while. The company at one point was seeking a $100 million valuation which was not bought by the venture capital investors. An Indian listing might also have been difficult since many of its properties are yet to make money. The only property that is strong on revenues could be Moneycontrol, while rest of the properties are in an investment mode.
The last time Indian portals listed in Nasdaq was years ago. Sify listed in Nasdaq on 1999 and Rediff in 2002.