Sahara, operating a few television channels in India plans to acquire one of the country’s largest cable TV distributor DigiCable Network. This ownership will set a stage for Sahara to enter the cable TV business. Sahara proposed to fund Stellar Interactive, the promoter of DigiCable , to acquire 49% of stake from Ashmore Investment Management, the private equity funder of DigiCable.
Stellar will do this deal through one of its subsidiary Broadband Pacenet, a broadband service provider in India with Sahara’s financial assistance. The possession will then be transferred to Sahara as per the deal. Ashmore has invested USD 240million in both DigiCable and Broadband Pacenet in 2007. With this deal Ashmore will be exiting cable TV business in the country. Transaction details are not unveiled; however it is expected to be less than what Ashmore infused in these firms.
Sahara’s new funding will help DigiCable in providing digital TV connectivity support, following government’s mandate to switch from analog to digital. Sahara a year back has shown interest towards cable and IPTV business but it did not materialize. This deal will set a stage for Sahara to enter the cable TV business with 8.7 million subs in the country.