India telco giant Reliance Communications is merging its Reliance Digital TV operation with rival Sun Direct. Reliance will hold a 26 per cent stake in the new DTH entity, but will then itself exit the DTH business.
As part of an agreement to be unveiled in the next day or so, it is understood that the medium-term plan will be for the ‘Newco’ to then mount an IPO, which Reliance would use to wholly exit the DTH business.
Reliance’s DTH subs base is some 4.1 million homes, while Sun Direct has 8.5 million subscribers. The merged pair would then be India’s Number 2 DTH player after Dish TV (15 million) and ahead of TataSky (11.5m).
Sun Direct is itself an 80-20 JV between India’s Maran Group, and Malayia’s Astro Group.