Dish TV, Airtel merger ‘on track’

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Indian pay-TV giant Dish TV had a solid day on the Bombay stock exchange August 7th, rising almost 5 per cent, and helped by numerous reports that an expected merger with rival Bharti Airtel Digital TV was very much on track.

Most reports suggest that Airtel/Warburg would end up with some 20 per cent of Dish TV.

Dish TV bought rival Videocon d2h in 2016, and if this latest marriage happens, it would remove another DTH operator from the crowded Indian marketplace.

A formal announcement is expected in the next month or so, with India’s Economic Times suggesting that Airtel and private equity investor Warburg Pincus have agreed terms.

If confirmed it will be another major plank in Essel Group’s financial recovery. Essel earlier this week sold 11 percent of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) to investment house Invesco for a reported $635 million (€709m).

Essel also currently owns 57.52 per cent of Dish TV, but the broadcaster’s share price has crashed this year by about 37 per cent, so the current 4.71 per cent upside is overdue.

If the merger is concluded, the enlarged Dish TV would command a 62 per cent market share of DTH homes.


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