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DEN plans to raise Rs 1,000 cr fresh debt, build arm chest of Rs 3,000 cr for expansion

MUMBAI: DEN Networks is planning to build an arm chest of Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) to fund its cable TV digitisation and broadband programme.

Sitting on a cash pile of Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion), the multi-system operator (MSO) has decided to cap its debt at Rs 2000 crore (Rs 20 billion).

DEN is planning to raise fresh debt of Rs 1,000 crore. It already has a gross debt of Rs 1,000 crore, as per data available till 30 September 2014.

“We are passing an enabling resolution to provide for an additional debt of Rs 1,000 crore. The total amount of borrowings should not exceed Rs 2,000 crore at any given time,” a company official said.

DEN expects to deploy 6.4 million set-top boxes (STBs) in Phases III and IV of digital addressable system (DAS). While the sunset date for analogue cable in Phase III is 31 December 2015, the deadline for Phase IV is 31 December 2016.

DEN services 6.6 million digital cable TV subscribers, out of which over five million are from Phase I and II DAS cities. The MSO has a total estimated subscriber universe of 13 million spread across the country.

For broadband, DEN uses DOCSIS 3.0 technology and offers download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Broadband is currently being offered at 20 locations in Delhi NCR.

DEN is also seeking shareholder approval for alteration of memorandum of association in terms of Companies Act, 2013. The company wants to undertake all kinds of activities in the sports and cultural affairs fields, including sports infrastructure, consultancy, as well as activities such as organising sports events, owning or maintaining sports teams, taking on or leasing out stadiums or playgrounds, and undertaking other related sports and cultural activities.

DEN Soccer, DEN Networks’ wholly-owned subsidiary, owns Indian Super League (ISL) team franchise Delhi Dynamos FC.

Last year, US investment firm Goldman Sachs invested $110 million to take a 17.8 per cent stake in DEN Networks. A further $50 million came in the form of qualified institutional placement.

Also read:

How DEN plans to spend Goldman Sachs’ $110 million