Entertainment major Eros International Plc has approved a share buyback programme of up to 20 million dollars of outstanding common shares, a development that comes less than a week after rating company Care cut its creditworthiness, citing delays or likely defaults in serving debt availed from banks.
"The board of directors believes the equity value of Eros International is seriously undervalued in the public markets. Accordingly, it has approved a share buyback programme of up to 20 million of outstanding common shares," the company said in a statement on Monday.
Share repurchases may be made at management's discretion from time to time on the open market or through privately negotiated transactions.
Eros' share repurchase programme does not obligate it to repurchase any specific number of shares and may be suspended or discontinued at any time, it said. This includes restricted deposits of 46.6 million dollars.
"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," said Eros Group Chairman Kishore Lulla.
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, we had over 135 million dollars of cash and cash equivalents on our balance sheet and our net debt position was 145 million dollars."
Since the company went public in 2013, Eros has invested over 1.2 billion dollars in content and generated over 970 million dollars in operating cash flow from operations. As a result, it has one of the largest libraries of Indian films in the world including over 12,000 digital rights.
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