New Delhi: Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd (HMVL), publisher of Hindi daily ‘Hindustan’, will raise Rs300 crore through an initial pubic offering (IPO) to fund its expansion plan.
HMVL is a subsidiary of HT Media Ltd that publishes ‘Hindustan Times’ and ‘Mint’.
The company has already filed its draft red herring prospectus and is awaiting clearance from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The IPO is expected within the next three months.
“The money raised will be used to make the company debt-free, strengthen ‘Hindustan’’s presence in the existing markets and expand into new markets,” said Benoy Roychowdhury, executive director, HMVL. The company may venture into new markets in Hindi-speaking states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Chhattisgarh.
‘Hindustan’ is targeting the Rs2,000 crore Hindi print advertising market, which is growing at 10-12% a year, said Roychowdhury.
The funds will also be used to augment the printing capacity of the newspaper, which has an average daily readership of 9.3 million, according to the Indian Readership Survey, said Amit Chopra, chief executive officer, HMVL.
Expansion plans: Executive director Benoy Roychowdhury says the money will be used to make HMVL debt-free, strengthen its Hindi daily’s presence in existing markets and expand into new areas. Sushil Kumar/HT
‘Hindustan’ is No. 1 in Bihar and Jharkhand and is ranked third in all-India readership after ‘Dainik Jagran’ and ‘Dainik Bhaskar’.
The amount of stake that HMVL, with a paid-up capital of Rs7 crore, will dilute is not clear since it will depend on the price band. “These things will be decided once we get the Sebi nod,” said Chopra.
Asked if the company will enter the Hindi business newspaper space, Chopra said: “It is too small an opportunity as of now. As and when it evolves, we will evaluate.”
HMVL also publishes two Hindi periodicals—children’s magazine ‘Nandan’ and general interest magazine ‘Kadambini’.