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Rupe plans India IPO

Execs plan more talks with int'l banks

MUMBAI — Rupert Murdoch’s Star India is planning an IPO on the Mumbai stock exchange late this year or early 2003 to raise coin for expanding news channels and film production.

After an initial meeting May 31 in London, execs plan another round of talks with international banks, including JM Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, in August. .

The IPO could spin off 10% of Star’s equity. The company had planned an IPO in 2000, but nixed it after markets crashed following the dot-com bust.

However, the feevee’s fortunes are rising after a slew of blockbuster programs over the past two years.

Rival Sony Entertainment Television is also rumored to be planning an IPO to raise money for broadcast rights to the 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cups.

In separate news, the Star Plus and Star News channels will be available in the U.S. starting in September targeting 1.6 million Indian expats.

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