Leaving Tata Sky Behind: Airtel Digital TV Enters Merger Talks With Dish TV To Become Largest DTH Operator In India

According to sources with information on the matter, Airtel is planning to partner with private equity firm Warburg Pincus to pay Rs 45 to Rs 50 per share to Goel’s. (Priyanka Parashar/Mint via Getty Images)

Direct to home (DTH) operator Dish TV’s promoters- the Goel family are planning to exit the business by selling their stake to Bharti Airtel’s Airtel Digital TV, the Business Standard reported on Thursday (4 July).

According to sources with information on the matter, Airtel is planning to partner with private equity firm Warburg Pincus to pay Rs 45 to Rs 50 per share to Goel’s, who would then receive somewhere between Rs 4,800 crore to Rs 5,300 crore.

After acquiring the Goel’s stake through a share swap, Airtel would open offer 20 per cent for shareholding.

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The deal may be finalised next month, and mark second major merger in Indian DTH sector after Dish TV’s acquiring of Videocon d2h in 2016. When negotiations began in March, the promoters were reportedly asking for Rs 62 per share, however, the emergence of JioFibre and debt burden of the Goel’s, mean they settled for less.

Dish TV is likely to become the main brand under which consolidated DTH operations would be housed post-merger, sources said. The Telecom Regulator’s (TRAI) recent performance indicator report had reported that Dish TV and Airtel Digital TV hold 40 per cent and 22 per cent respectively of the 70.5 million DTH market.

Post-acquisition, the merged entity would be at a commendable a 62 per cent market share, leaving Tata Sky at a distant second with 25 per cent market share.

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