Advanced Television

Media groups drop London listing plans

November 8, 2007

The leading Romanian cable television company and Turkey's DTH operator have dropped plans to list on the London Stock Exchange, becoming the latest big casualties of the credit squeeze.

RCS & RDS, the Romanian media and telecommunications group, blamed “current market conditions”, while Digiturk of Turkey said it preferred to invest in its own business and not sell shares at a price it felt was too low.

The Romanian company had hoped to raise between $390 million (E266m) and $540 million for 15 per cent of the company through the issue of global depositary receipts priced at between $5.25 and $7.25 per GDR. This would have given RCS & RDS a market value of about $3.5 billion. It wanted to use proceeds to fund expansion into the third-generation mobile telephone market and into central and eastern Europe.

The company has more than 1.2 million cable TV subscribers in Romania and also offers satellite TV, fixed-line telephony and broadband internet to customers in countries such as Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. RCS & RDS has about 70 per cent of the Romanian cable broadband market, according to Pyramid Research.

Digiturk, looking to raise up to $550 million was expected to be the largest Turkish flotation this year. It is controlled by Cukurova Group, a Turkish conglomerate, and Providence Equity Partners, a private equity group.

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