Dainik Bhaskar exits cable biz, Hathway takes full ownership of JV

MUMBAI: Dainik Bhaskar Group has exited the cable TV business ahead of digitisation, selling its 49 per cent stake to joint venture partner Hathway Cable & Datacom.

Hathway has taken complete ownership of the JV company, Hathway Bhaskar Multinet, which has cable TV distribution networks in Bhopal, Indore and Jaipur.

"We have bought out Bhaskar‘s stake. Hathway Bhaskar Multinet now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of our company," says Hathway Cable & Datacom managing director and chief executive Jagdish Kumar.

Dainik Bhaskar Group‘s exit comes at a time when cable companies are required to make massive investments in digital set-top boxes (STBs). The government has mandated cable TV digitisation across the country in four phases by 31 December 2014.

In 2008, the Bhaskar Group sold controlling stake in their cable TV company to Hathway.

"There has been a fall in valuation since then as Hathway Bhaskar Multinet lost ground to rival multi-system operators Den and Digicable. Though the acquisition amount is not disclosed, it is certain that it has dipped," a source familiar with the development said.

The enterprise value of Bhaskar Multinet in 2008 was around Rs 600 million, the source added.

After taking full charge of Bhaskar Multinet, Hathway is planning to fortify its presence in these three cities.

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