Cable operator Ortel Comms seeks funds through Indian IPO

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 25 February 2015

Odisha-based cable TV operator Ortel Communications will launch an initial public offering (IPO) on 3 March to help grow subscribers in its current operational areas and fund its digital expansion.

The 'last mile' owner has filed its Red Herring Prospectus and announced the price band of INR181- INR200 per equity share. It will open the public issue of up to 12 million equity shares of a face value of INR10, each including a share premium per equity share.

The minimum bid lot is 75 equity shares and in multiples of 75 equity shares thereafter for the IPO, which will close on 5 March.

A company statement said at least 75% of the issue will be allotted on a proportionate basis to Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIB).

The LMO currently offers cable TV services in 48 towns in the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, with over 21,600km of cable supported by 34 analogue and five digital headends.

"We have already gone for three rounds of private equity funding. Ours is a CAPEX heavy business. As we go forward, it is essential to have public presence. The time has come, when the company has some currency to scale up," BJ Panda, chairman, Ortel Communications, told reporters.

The revenue generated will help Ortel Communications increase the penetration of digital television, in line with the country's digitisation programme. It has currently has converted 20% of its analogue homes to digital ones.

In addition, the funds will help expand its broadband subscriber base, with 11% of subscribers currently taking up broadband services.

Ortel Communications also plans to expand its presence through the acquisition of other local cable operators and networks. Between April 2009 and December 2014, the company claims to have entered into agreements with over 490 multi-system and last mile cable operators, resulting in an acquisition of 221,155 cable TV subscribers.