Pioneer private broadcasting entity in the country, Daar Communications Plc, is dreaming of digitised media powerhouse to serve the needs of the continent and beyond, as the company said at the weekend that the bulk of the fund to be generated from its Initial Public Offer (IPO) would be used for migration of its equipment from analogue to digital systems.
This is coming as DaarComms plans to introduce a new digitised pay TV with 40 channels before the year runs to an end.
Champion Infotel recalls that DaarComms on Monday commenced its IPO thus putting up for sale 960,000,000 ordinary shares, to raise N10 billion deal of 50 kobo each at N5 per share, which would last till the end of March, this year. Daar is primarily involved in broadcasting, telecommunications and allied Multi-media as well as printing and publishing services across the globe.
Reiterating the determination of the board of Daar Communications Plc to enthrone digital communications in its domains of operations globally, its Chairman, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, said that strategies have reached advanced stage to ensure that few months after the closure of the IPO, implementation would begin in earnest in all installations and stations.
According to him, the going to the capital market by DaarComms is in fulfilment of long-time dream and promise of availing Nigerians the opportunity to be part owners of the company, and urged Nigerians to grab this opportunity with both hands.
He also outlined other purposes for which the fund would be committed, including completion of the 11 new stations and construction of a film village in the South Western part of the country, upgrading of existing facilities, procurement of programme content, programmes and digital satellite systems as well as working capital requirement.
For the managing director, Daar Communications, Mr. Ladi Lawal, the completion board meeting in Lagos at the weekend, was the day the Lord has made, although he was quick to add that it took up to 10 years for the transformation to come to fruition.
“Today is a day of history because it’s the day an organisation known by its pioneering spirit has made another first to offer itself to Nigerians for ownership in the sector,” he declared.
He added that DaarComms is known to have made lots of first in its area of endeavour including the first to run television station for 24 hours for seven days in a week, in addition to running a terrestrial station and offers services through satellite for the global audience.
Mr. Lawal described the share structure as people- friendly because it’s just a ‘pure water price,’ predicting that the DaarComms would be over subscribed.
“Africa Independent Television (AIT), RayPower is yours, so you can now own it from Monday February 25 to March 31,” he asserted, even as the offer is appealing and would be rewarding.
He stressed that with the offer in the public domain, DaarComms is truly taking its place as the African voice and is ready to take it to the higher level into other continents of the world.
“We urge Nigerians to cash-in on this offer and make another first in order to make a global media,” he said, pointing out that the IPO proceeds would be used majorly for expansion of its operations.
Mr. Lawal disclosed that a new pay TV would soon make its debut with 40 channels, which he tagged the biggest to be established in a sweep on the continent, emphasising that its not just about DaarComms again, but about the African media powerhouse.
“We are trying to surpass the vision of the visioner,” he said, noting that DaarComms holds a thematic philosophy of seeing the globe as its scope.
Former Director General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Dr. Tom Adaba, commended the management of Daar Communications Plc, especially its chairman, Dr. Dokpesi, for the steadfastness, noting that without the live telecast of the debate on third term agenda in the last dispensation on AIT, Nigeria and Nigerians would have been in perpetual slavery as far as leadership is concerned, underscoring the power of broadcasting technology and television particularly.
He invited Nigerians to make good use of this opportunity, saying that with DaarComms, lots of goodies await Nigerians.
“Its now left for us to ensure we’re part of this good things to come. DaarComms does not only have the sky as it’s stepping stone but would go beyond the stars,” Adaba said.
Noteworthy is that Daar Communications Plc launched its broadcast services in 1994 with the promotion of Nigeria’s first private independent radio station, RayPower 100.5FM. A second channel, RayPower 106.5FM also commenced formal operations in April 1999.
In the last quarter of 1999, Daar launched into the information super highway with the commencement of the Daar broadband internet services with capacity for voice, internet access, video conferencing, data, telephony and other multi-media capabilities.