Reliance Big TV Ltd., which promotes the Big TV DTH services, is planning to raise around Rs 8,000 crore by selling up to 49% stake to foreign private equity firms and global DTH service providers, reports Business Standard. Big TV is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Communications of the ADA Group.
The report suggests that the company is in talks with private equity firms like Carlyle Group, Sequoia Capital, KKR and Direct TV, a US based DTH firm, for raising the funds. The company expects to close the deal in this quarter itself.
The government allows foreign investment of up to 49% in DTH firms with a rider that foreign direct investment (FDI) cannot exceed 20% within the overall 49% investment cap. Big TV is the only DTH firm in India that has no foreign investments. All other DTH service providers operating in India- Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel’s Digital TV, Sun Direct have foreign investments of over 20%.
Big TV currently has around 1.8 million subscribers while the total number of DTH subscribers in India is around 12.5 million. Big TV was launched in August last year and provides the DTH service using the MPEG-4 platform, which enables it to offer over 200 TV, Cinema and Audio channels to its customers.
Gurgaon based IPTV service provider MyWay is also reportedly looking at raising around Rs 150 crore in the current fiscal. It is believed to be in talks with private equity players and strategic investors for raising capital that would be used to part fund its expansion.