DTH

Essel Group to acquire further 4.95 per cent in Dish TV Videocond2h from Dhoots

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MUMBAI: The Essel group today announced that it has agreed with the Dhoot family that it will acquire an additional 4.95 per cent equity of Dish TV Videocon d2h (DTV d2h) - the company being created out of the merger of Dish TV India Ltd (DTIL) and Videocon d2h Ltd (VD2h).

The additional transaction will take place a day after the merged entity starts trading on the National stock exchanges at the first day’s closing price. The deal will take placed through Essel group company Veena Investments.

The purchase will see the Essel group’s equity holding in Dish TV Videocon d2h (DTVd2h) go up to 40.95 per cent. The media group’s share of DTVd2h will further rise as it has agreed with the Dhoot family to acquire an additional 4.95 per cent equity shares from it a year after the merged entity starts trading on the NSE. Both will have a window of three months to complete the transaction then.

The Dhoot family’s equity stake in DTVd2h will fall to 23.05 following the first sale and to 18.1 per cent following the second, while the Essel group’s holding will rise to 45.9 per cent at the end of the second transaction. This clearly indicates who will be in the drivers seat at DTVd2h - Jawahar Goel, the brother of media baron Subhash Chandra.

The two family groups had earlier this month announced the merger of their two firms which would result in the creation of a pay TV provider with a subscriber base of 27.6 million, making it the second largest in the world just after the US pay TV giant DirecTV and ahead of John Malone’s Charter Communications.

Pre-merger, the Essel group owns 64.44 per cent equity in DTIL, the Dhoot family owns 51.17 per cent in Vd2h. 35.95 per cent of the latter’s holding is in the hands of overseas depository holders on Nasdaq on which it is listed. The firm is to be delisted from the US exchange and the depositary receipt holders will have the option to directly get shares of DTVd2h or its GDRs as the latter is expected to be listed on the Luxemborg stock exchange apart from the Bombay stock exchange and the NSE.

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