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Is Videocon Looking To Acquire Loss Making IPTV And VoIP Co IOL Netcom?

Someone told me a couple of weeks ago that Videocon is looking to launch DTH services. In that context, this story, about Videocons plans to acquire IOL Netcom doesn’t come as a surprise: ET reports that two Videocon affiliated companies – Shree Dhoot Trading & Agencies Ltd (SDTAL), an investment company of the Dhoot family that owns Videocon, and Videocon Realty & Infrastructure Ltd (VRIL) have picked up 11.72 percent and 1.97 percent percent equity in IOL Netcom.

Looking at IOLs earnings report annexures, it appears that this is up from SDTALs 6.51 percent stake, and VRILs 1.83 percent stake at the end of Q1-09. IOL Netcom President Siddharth Srivastava has denied that there has been any takeover proposal from Videocon.

IOL Netcom offers content on MTNLs IPTV, and this would fit in with Videocons telecom, DTH and IPTV plans. Here’s a list of their channels. Do note that the company also entered the Voice Over Internet Protocol business (for MTNL) by merging with Exatt Technologies (an allocation of 25 lakh shares, PDF). Exatt was an ISP operating in 10 circles, in collaboration with local cable operators. IOL also tied up to bring GyPSii, a geo-location social networking platform for mobile, web and importantly – set top boxes. The tie-up was via IOLs subsidiary Broadway (site under construction since Feb). GyPSii is a map service and a friend finder.

For the quarter ending June 30th 2008, IOL Netcom reported a net loss of Rs. 9.68 lakhs crores, with revenues of Rs. 3.04 lakhs crores. For the last fiscal, the company had reported a loss of Rs. 21.46 crores, with revenues of Rs. 24.25 crores. Important to note that they paid Rs. 10.08 crores in the year for “Purchase of traded goods”…is that payout for content acquisition?

Note that the Times of India Group (BCCL) also owns a 1.83 percent stake in IOL Netcom, as well as a stake in Videocon, both via the private treaty investment route.

Download: Q1-09 Financials, Annexure

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