Airtel and Dish TV merger back on?

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India’s two DTH broadcasting giants, Dish TV and Bharti’s Airtel DTH are – once again – in talks to merge.

According to local reports, the two are close to merging and in the process would create the world’s largest TV distribution business. Talks are currently taking place with private equity firm Warburg Pincus leading the discussions.

India’s Economic Times reports that the merged pair will hold some 40 million paying subscribers, with a 62 per cent market share (TataSky would hold a 25 per cent share). Dish TV has 23.9 million subs.  Dish TV had earlier merged its business with Videcom d2h.

Airtel DTH is 20 per cent owned by Warburg Pincus, which is reportedly in favour of a merger. Dish TV India is a listed company and is part of the Zee Entertainment group, controlled by Subhash Chandra and his family and investors.

The thinking is that Dish TV will be hived off and merged with Airtel DTH’s owner Bharti Telemedia.


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