Eros International announces $20 mn share repurchase programme
Eros International Plc has announced $20 million share repurchase programme, reiterating positive business fundamentals and strong financial position. Eros Now, Eros International’s on-demand South Asian entertainment video service, has reported growth in its paid subscribers to 18.8 million as of March 31, 2019.
The company has issued a statement in this regard from Kishore Lulla, Group Chairman and CEO, Eros International:
“We are very excited to announce that our Eros Now platform has risen to 18.8 million paid subscribers and 154.7 million registered users as of March 31, 2019, far exceeding our target for the full fiscal year 2019 of 16 million subscribers. This represents a 138% increase in paid subscribers over the past 12 months and an 18% 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.
Additionally, I am pleased to inform shareholders that 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.
I would also note that baseless allegations have been made against the company in the past and subsequent frivolous lawsuits have been dismissed with prejudice by the US courts. Similar baseless allegations continue to be made by known short sellers without justification. We will continue to defend our interests rigorously at all times.”
Group Financial Officer and President of North America, Prem Parameswaran, added here, “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 $135 million of cash and cash equivalents (Includes restricted deposits of $46.6 million) on our balance sheet and our net debt position was $145 million (unaudited figures).”
He further said that since the company went public in 2013, Eros has invested over $1.2 billion in content and generated over $970 million in operating cash flow from operations. “As a result of this sustained and prudent investment, Eros has one of the largest libraries of Indian films in the world including over 12,000 digital rights,” he added.
Parameswaran also said that 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 programme of up to $20 million of outstanding common shares.
Share repurchases may be made at management’s discretion from time to time on the open market or through privately negotiated transactions. The repurchase programme has no time limit and may be suspended for periods or discontinued at any time. Eros’ share repurchase programme does not obligate it to repurchase any specific number of sharesand may be suspended or discontinued at any time.