Vietnam shelves IPO of pay TV player VTVCab after tepid investor response

Photo: VTVcab

VTVCab, one of Vietnam’s largest pay-TV players, is cancelling its initial public offering (IPO) on April 17 after only one investor registered to attend the auction, according to an announcement by the Hanoi Stock Exchange.

The proposed IPO, which was announced last month, was to see the government offload a 47.8 per cent stake in the firm. At a starting price of VND140,900 ($6.23) per share, the government was hoping to raise at least VND6 trillion ($264 million) from the IPO.

According to local media reports, the IPO of VTVCab was deemed unattractive by investors due to what was seen as a higher-than-merited starting price, given the firm’s recent performance. The company recently had drew the ire of its customers after deleting a few popular channels, leading some to switch to its competitors.

VTVCab’s IPO has been beset by problems. In 2015, Vietnam Television (VTV) proposed to divest its interest in three pay TV units — VTVCab, SCTV and K+ — to improve operational efficiency and maximise shareholder value.

However, the privatization process got delayed due to difficulties in asset valuation. Recently, the Prime Minister agreed to extend the deadline for VTVCab’s IPO to June 30, 2018.

VTVCab, wholly-owned by the leading state-owned broadcasting agency in VTV, has become one of the country’s largest pay-TV players in terms of subscribers. Launched in 2012, it broadcasts 200 channels in cooperation with other television service providers.

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