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Big TV to Sell 49% Stake to Private Firms

Big TV to sell stake to private equity firmsFollowing footsteps of other DTH players, Reliance Big TV is planning to divest up to 49% stake to private equity companies and global DTH players. According to a business daily, several private equity companies like the Carlyle Group, Sequoia Capital, KKR and US-based DTH firm Direct TV are in talks with Big TV.

Reliance expects to raise around Rs 8000 crore from this deal, because the DTH market is highly competitive in India and to increase subscriber base one needs to have better and affordable pricing. The deal is expected to close this quarter.

Government norms allow 49% foreign investment in DTH, with a rider that the foreign direct investment (FDI) cannot exceed 20% within the overall 49% foreign investment cap.

Currently Big TV has around 1.8 million subscribers out of 12.5 million DTH customers in India, making them the second smallest DTH player in India. Dish TV and Tata Sky are leading at present with 5 million and 4 million subscribers respectively.
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