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Cable Operator Hathway Files For IPO, Challenges

Following competitor DEN Network, cable operator and ISP Hathway Datacom has decided to go public and filed a draft Red Herring prospectus with the SEBI on January 27, 2010. Subscriptions will open on February 7 and close on February 11, 2010. DEN's IPO received only a lukewarm response (grade 3 IPO) from the markets, will Hathway fare better? Hathway offers analog and digital cable television services to 125 cities and towns and high-speed cable broadband services across 18 cities. Only one Multiple System Operator, or MSO as large cable TV companies are called, is listed on the BSE so far: Zee Group's Wire & Wireless India Ltd (WWIL). Download: Hathway's Red Herring Prospectus The IPO According to IndianTelevision, Hathway had planned a $100 million IPO back in April 2008 after it received a Rs. 2.7 billion clearance from the FIPB and was planning to invest the proceeds of its IPO into expanding its digital cable network. The company will now issue 27,750,000 equity shares worth Rs. 10 each, from a fresh issue of 20,000,000 equity shares and an offer for sale of 7,210,000 shares by Monet Ltd, 540,000 shares by MSPI Mauritius International. The company notes the issue will form around 19.43% of its post-issue share capital. Its promoters' holding will fall from 77.37% to 66.55% post the IPO. Note that its promoters also hold 18% stake in Kerala-based MSO Asianet Satellite Communications or Asianet, which is a direct competitor. Two directors Akshay Raheja and Viren Raheja are also directors…

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