Technology

News Corp exits from Hathway Cable, sells 17.3% stake for Rs 3.58 bn

MUMBAI: News Corp. has offloaded its entire stake in cable firm Hathway Cable & Datacom, allowing it to focus on its direct-to-home (DTH) and broadcasting businesses in India.


The Rupert Murdoch-led media conglomerate sold its 17.3 per cent stake to private-equity firm Providence and Macquarie Bank for Rs 3.58 billion.


Providence is the buyer and Macquarie Bank has acted on its behalf, it is learnt.


News Corp, the second largest shareholder in Hathway, held the stake through Asian Cable Systems.


"We have exited from Hathway. We were a minority partner. We didn‘t feel the need for investing into so many businesses and do not have the management bandwidth. We will continue to have presence in DTH (through Tata Sky) on the distribution side of the business," Star India CEO Uday Shankar told Indiantelevision.com.


Asian Cable Systems sold its entire holding of 24,715,500 shares through open market transactions for Rs 145 per share, according to filings with the National Stock Exchange.


Around 14.1 million shares were purchased by Providence Equity Advisors Mauritius for Rs 2.05 billion, while remaining 10.5 million shares were acquired by Macquarie Bank for Rs 1.53 billion.


The shares were sold through separate bulk deals at the NSE.


As of 31 December 2011, other promoter entities include Akshay Rajan Raheja (17 per cent), Viren Rajan Raheja (16.74 per cent), Hathway Investments (10.47 per cent) and Spur Cable & Datacom Pvt Ltd (5.36 per cent).


Other major non-promoter shareholders of the company include Infrastructure India Holding Fund, Reliance Capital Trustee Co Ltd, Government Pension Fund Global, UTI Mutual Fund and SBI Mutual Fund.


News Corp. had acquired 26 per cent in Hathway way back in 2000, after it exited from Subhash Chandra-promoted Siticable.


Hathway scrip closed at Rs 179.55 on BSE, up 1.3 per cent.

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