Silver Eagle takes US$300MN+ stake in Videocon d2h

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 07 January 2015

Silver Eagle Acquisition will invest between US$300 million and $375 million in Videocon d2h before taking the Indian direct-to-home (DTH) pay-TV operator public in the US, the companies have announced.

The deal will see the US entertainment acquisition company acquire 33.5% to 38.6% of the Mumbai-based DTH satellite operator for INR19 billion (over US$300 million).

Silver Eagle was founded by former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer chairman and chief executive Harry Sloan and veteran TV executive Jeff Sagansky. Last year it raised $325 million as part of an initial public offering (IPO).

"Silver Eagle not only gives us additional capital but also unparalleled expertise and experience. We look for forward to working closely with Harry and Jeff on expending our market share and services," said V N Dhoot, chairman, Videocon d2h.

The pay-TV company will issue shares in the form of American Depository Receipts (ADRs) to Silver Eagle, and the ADRs will be listed on Nasdaq, Dhoot added.

India's growing middle class is set to contribute to an expected 33 million new pay-TV subscribers over the next four years, Silver Eagle said.

Since launch in 2009, Videocon d2h has attracted a subscriber base of 11.8 million, which equated to 16.5% of the DTH market in September 2014. It distributes more than 500 digital television channels, and competes with fellow private DTH providers Tata Sky, Sun Direct, Dish TV and Airtel Digital.

In October 2014, Videocon also announced plans to launch a $113 million IPO.

Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky will be appointed to the Videocon board once the deal closes.