Anil Ambani is likely to sell his DTH business — Reliance Digital TV — to Kalanithi Maran for about Rs 2,500 crore. Discussions are in the final stage and the deal may be announced as early as within a month, sources said.
Reliance Communications (RCOM) operates DTH services. At present, RCOM is struggling with a debt of around rupees 37,000 crore. The deal, if it happens, will help Ambani retire a part of the debt."The deal will be part cash and part equity. Cash component, however, "will form a major component" a source familiar with the developments said.
Reliance Digital TV currently has about six million subscribers, while Sun Direct, Maran’s DTH company, has 8.5 million DTH subscribers and has a strong base in the southern states of the country.
When contacted, a spokesperson of RCOM declined to comment. The Sun group CFO also did not respond to HT’s phone calls.
During the last two-and-a-half months, Anil Ambani has announced two major deals for leasing infrastructure to elder brother Mukesh Ambani's company Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI).
On April 2, the two brothers announced a rupee 1,200-crore deal, under which Mukesh’s RJI will use optic fibre cables owned by Anil’s RCOM.
This was followed by a rupee 12,000-crore deal on June 7, under which RJI will use the mobile phone towers of RCOM.
According to the terms of the deal, there is no upfront payment and RJI will make annual payments of rupee 1,000 crore for about 12 years to RCOM. This is likely to help RCOM service its rupee 2,700-crore annual debt payment obligation.
The company is also said to have been in talks with Providence Equity Partners, a US-based leading private equity firm, for selling majority stake in Reliance Globalcom, its international undersea cable subsidiary. It may raise around $1.2 billion by selling about 80% stake in the company.