Apollo Global part-exits Dish TV with $42M, makes 2x in local currency in five years

NYSE-listed alternative assets manager Apollo Global Management has part-exited its investment in India's largest direct-to-home TV service operator Dish TV Ltd for Rs 262.5 crore ($42.2 million) through an open market transaction on Friday.

It sold its entire 32 million equity shares comprising 3 per cent stake in Noida-headquartered Dish TV. The PE major separately owns around 8 per cent stake in the DTH service provider through its outstanding global depository receipts (GDR).

It's remaining stake is now worth Rs 721 crore ($116 million).

In local currency, it has generated a little over 2x in the part-exit, while in the dollar terms the returns are lower as the Indian currency has depreciated sharply over the last two years.

Apollo Global had invested $100 million (Rs 465 crore) in Dish TV in 2009 through a GDR issue. It had converted a part of the GDRs into equity shares, which have been sold now.

Part of the stake was acquired by a portfolio investment unit of Citigroup and a mutual fund under Birla Sun Life.

Dish TV, part of one of India’s biggest media conglomerate Zee Group, has more than 470 channels and services, including 23 audio channels and over 43 HD channels and services on its platform.

Dish TV India's scrip closed at Rs 84.90 on BSE in a weak Mumbai market on Friday.

For Apollo, this is the second exit move from an Indian portfolio. Two years ago it exited from Welspun Maxsteel Ltd.

The private equity giant had invested $350 million in two group companies – picking minority stake in the group’s flagship Welspun Corp Ltd (for $290 million) and Welspun Maxsteel Ltd (for $60 million). It had also proposed to invest separately in the group’s infrastructure business, but that did not happen.

Apollo initially picked up 12.5 per cent stake in sponge iron firm Welspun Maxsteel from Welspun Steel Ltd for $31 million and was to invest another $29 million in the company. This stake was acquired by the parent firm.

In India, last year, Apollo invested in power generator Mytrah Energy. It also raised a large special situations investment fund along with ICICI Venture last year.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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