Citigroup's You Telecom gets FIPB nod for 49 per cent buy in cable company

MUMBAI: Private equity funds are eyeing investment opportunities into cable networks in India. Citigroup Venture Capital International-owned You Telecom India Pvt Ltd wants to acquire up to 49 per cent stake in a cable TV company.

"We are looking at acquisition opportunities and are in talks with some cable networks but nothing has been finalised yet," says You Telecom CEO EVS Chakravarthy.

You Telecom has recently got approval from the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) to "make downstream investment up to 49 per cent in an Indian company engaged in the cable network business."


Citigroup had acquired 85 per cent stake in the Mumbai-based broadband company from British Gas in 2006. Bennett & Coleman Company Ltd (BCCL), the holding company of the Times of India, picked up a five per cent stake in You Telecom last month.

You Telecom is exploring opportunities to launch a Headend-In-The-Sky (HITS) platform and recently made a presentation to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on alternate ways of digitisation. "We see opportunity in the digital cable segment because of conditional access system (Cas). HITS could be an option for us," says Chakravarthy.

You Telecom (earlier Iqara Broadband under British Gas) has pumped in Rs 4 billion towards the broadband business and has 145000 subscribers spread over 11 cities across the country. The company has a turnover of Rs 800 million.


You Telecom (which holds the ISP licence) will be merged into You Broadband Networks India Pvt Ltd (holds IP licence) as part of the restructuring. You Broadband Networks would, thus, become an operating-cum-holding company. "We expect to complete the conversion process in the next 2-4 weeks," says Chakravarthy.

Citigroup Venture Capital International launched a $1.6 billion fund in 2005 to make private equity investments, primarily in companies seeking to profit from the growth in India, Greater China (particularly in the People‘s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) and emerging Europe.

Among the cable companies, Zee Group‘s Wire & Wireless India Ltd (WWIL) is listed and has expressed intent to rope in a minority investor.

Rajan Raheja-promoted Asianet Satellite Communications, Kerala‘s largest multi-system operator (MSO), is in talks with US private equity giant Providence for diluting a minority stake but sources say no conclusive agreement has been reached. Raheja also owns Hathway Cable & Datacom where Star Group bought a 26 per cent stake.


Latest Reads
India, China to propel APAC, beat CAS Europe market share

APAC is expected to overtake the market share of Europe in future due to an increasing demand for digital TV set-up boxes in countries such as China and India. North America and Europe dominated the global CAS market in 2015. APAC region is estimated to mark a growth rate of 12.0 per cent CAGR...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
India lucrative market for 4K UHD STBs: Grand View Research

Here’s a view on the demand for 4K or ultra high definition (UHD) set-top boxes (STBs) in India.

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
Infor appoints Dass as south Asian subcontinent V-P

Infor, a leading provider of business applications specialized by industry and built for the cloud, has appointed Ashish Dass as the vice president and managing director for the south Asian subcontinent. Infor software helps eliminate the need for costly customization through embedded deep...

Technology Software Applications
Siti & DishTV opt for Conax conditional access

The Essel group has been using Conax’s tech for sometime now for its Siti Network (earlier known as Siti Cable). Now the group has extended that partnership for another product for both Siti Network and DTH operator Dish TV India. This time it is for the cardless set top boxes that the two are...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
Imagine Communications extends functionality of Selenio One unified transcoding platform to OTT

MUMBAI: Imagine Communications, empowering the media and entertainment industry through transformative innovation, today introduced a high-density adaptive bitrate (ABR) transcoding product built on Selenio One™, the company’s software-defined linear transcoding platform. Selenio One is designed...

Technology Hardware Components
DJI Makes Your Smartphone Smarter with the New Osmo Mobile

DJI, the world leader in creative camera technology, Thursday launched the Osmo Mobile, an extension for smartphones that turns them into intelligent, precision camera systems.

Technology Hardware Components
Prime Focus Tech gets funding from PE firm Ambit Pragma

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) – the technology offshoot of media services company Prime Focus - informed the Bombay stock exchange today that it had received its first round of funding from growth capital private equity fund Ambit Pragma.

Technology Software Applications
Three new products developed by C-DOT launched on its Foundation Day

Communications Minister Manoj Sinha today expressed the hope that 100,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) will be connected through Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) by March next to set up a network infrastructure to serve the rural masses.

Technology Hardware Distribution
Genpact and BITS partner to build talent in the field of analytics

Genpact (NYSE: G), a global leader in digitally-powered business process management and services, today announced a partnership with premier technical education university Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) for offering training programs in the field of analytics.

Technology Software Middleware

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories