Dish TV plans to raise $200 mn

MUMBAI: Dish TV plans to raise up to $200 million from overseas investors even as the government has mandated digitisation, sources familiar with the development said.

The company has applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for approval. The application is slated for consideration on 15 November.

“Dish TV is looking at tapping a single or a clutch of investors and it could be through the GDR route or a mix of instruments. The aim is to build a war chest and seize the market opportunity that the digitisation mandate would open up. The push also would be for boosting its high definition (HD) subscriber base,” the sources added.
The company’s senior executives could not be contacted.

Dish TV had early this year said in an earnings call that it had no requirement to raise capital to fund its aggressive subscriber growth and was nearing profitability at the net level. A government-backed mandate for digitisation, initially in the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, has, however, made the DTH operator change its plans.
The promoter holding stands at 64.7 per cent. In 2009, US-based private equity firm Apollo Management had taken 11 per cent stake in the company for $100 million.

Dish TV has a cash balance of around Rs 3.4 billion.

“The company is gearing up for digitisation and HD. The acquisition of HD subscribers is Rs 3,000 while in case of other subscribers it is around 2,200,” a media analyst said.

Dish TV, India’s largest DTH operator, has added 1.735 million subscribers during the first seven months of this fiscal. 

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