Media and entertainment firm Eros International on Monday announced a share repurchase program worth up to USD 20 million (approx Rs 138.86 crore) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
The company made this announcement after Credit Analysis and Research Limited (CARE), last Wednesday, downgraded the ratings assigned to the bank facilities of Eros International Media, the Indian arm of Eros International, citing delay in servicing of bank loans for the month of April 2019 and May 2019.
"The Eros Board of Directors believes the equity value of Eros International PLC is seriously undervalued in the public markets and accordingly, the Board has approved a share buyback program of up to USD 20 million of outstanding common shares," Eros International Media said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
In response to rating downgrade, Eros International Group Chairman and CEO Kishore Lulla said, "We now have a strong financial and operating position and our management team are making it a priority to work with CARE Ratings, the regulatory agency, to have our credit rating revised upwards in due course."
Lulla further said that Eros Now platform has risen to 1.88 crore paid subscribers and 15.47 crore registered users as of March 31, 2019, far exceeding the full fiscal target of 1.6 crore subscribers for the full fiscal year 2019. This represents a 138 per cent increase in paid subscribers over the past 12 months and an 18 per cent increase over the prior quarter.
"Our success in building our subscriber base will further increase the visibility of our earnings and move the company towards a more annuity-based business model which will deliver continuing and profitable growth," he said.
Group Financial Officer and President of North America Prem Parameswaran added, "Eros has a strong liquidity profile and healthy balance sheet with no meaningful near-term debt maturities. As of March 31, 2019, we had over USD 135 million of cash and cash equivalents on our balance sheet and our net debt position was USD 145 million (unaudited figures)."
The Eros International will announce the fiscal year results on July 15, 2019.
Meanwhile, Eros International Media shares were trading at Rs 40.95 apiece, down 9.90 per cent, on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar