Visibility drove us to list on Nasdaq: Saurabh Dhoot

 
Satellite television company Videocon d2h has become the first Indian company from the segment to list in the US following the liberalisation of the depository receipt (DR) programme by the government. In January, Videocon d2H sold 33 per cent stake to US-based Silver Eagle Acquisition, which got listed on the Nasdaq exchange. Saurabh Dhoot, managing director, talks to Samie Modak. Edited excerpts:

Could you explain the transaction with Silver Eagle?

Silver Eagle is the platform that gave funds an opportunity to invest in Videocon d2h. The shareholders of Silver Eagle through this transaction have ended up owning American depository receipts (ADRs) of Videocon d2h.  This is a first (such listing) for an Indian private company under the new depository receipt initiative of the Government of India.

Domestic listing plans have got shelved for now?

With this transaction, there has been a change in the company's capital structure. We cannot go ahead with the old document.

And, you are not in a hurry to file a fresh document with Sebi (the markets regulator)?

That’s right.

Videocon d2h filed its offer document twice with Sebi. Why didn’t a domestic IPO materialise?

First time around, domestic market conditions were not conducive. The second time, we had this opportunity, thanks to liberalisation in the DR programme.

Has the company got better valuations in the US than what it would have in the domestic market?

I will not say so. But, the visibility a platform like Nasdaq gave to a media-oriented company like us is what really drove us there. For media and technology companies, a global platform like Nasdaq offers good capital and visibility.

How was the experience of raising capital through this route? Do you expect more companies to tap it?

It was a great experience. The entire process was smooth. I would naturally recommend entrepreneurs to look at this opportunity of global listing. It also depends on the sector the company operates in and the investor profile it targets.  It (Nasdaq) is a great platform for companies operating in media and technology.

How much of funds has Videocon raised through this and how do you plan to utilise it?

The company has received around $325 million, close to Rs 2,000 crore. We plan to use it as growth capital.  We believe this will take care of the capital expenditure in terms of subscriber base expansion. The capital also strengthens the balance sheet, bringing down the net debt down to less than two times of operating earnings.

Are you looking for further fund raising?

We have just concluded this transaction. This would be sufficient for the time being.

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