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Showtime gears up for its IPO

Showtime explores its 2005 IPO with the help of major international banks.

Major banks are interested in managing Showtime’s initial public offering, according to the satellite television network’s parent company, the Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO).

Some of the interested banks include Citigroup, Bank of America, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Morgan Stanley.

The bankers were all asked to recommend share prices for Showtime, to chose a stock exchange where Showtime should list and the best way to structure the company’s capital.

“We were extremely impressed by the high calibre of the proposals. Each one demonstrated eagerness to present the unique value of Showtime to media investors around the world,” said KIPCO managing director and CEO Faisal Al Ayyar.

“Their proposals demonstrated recognition not only of Showtime’s tremendous track record in an emerging marketplace, but also the supporting strength and quality of our KIPCO portfolio companies,” said Al Ayyar.

The IPO will be held in 2005.

Showtime launched with six channels in 1996. It has expanded its distribution across the Middle East and North Africa region and today offers more than 50 channels of Western entertainment with Arabic subtitles.

KIPCO is Kuwait's largest private sector company with more than US$10 billion under management or control, and a portfolio of some 70 companies.

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