Advanced Television

India’s Dish TV and Airtel merger stalls again

January 22, 2020

By Chris Forrester

Not for the first time the proposed merger between two giant Indian DTH operators, Dish TV and Bharti Airtel’s Digital TV, has hit a wall. They have failed – or at least been put on the back burner – because the two sides have not been able to agree on how the deal is structured.

Dish TV, according to local reports, wanted cash to form the bulk of the transition difference while Airtel was looking to offer shares.

Dish TV, ultimately controlled by Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group, has a considerable debt burden and has been selling assets over the past two years to bring that debt down. In 2019 Essel sold some 16 per cent of its Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) television operation.

The breakdown in talks translated into a 6.3 per cent jump for Dish TV on the Mumbai stock exchange. Airtel rose 1.2 per cent. 

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