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Atria to up stake in ACN Cable to 74%

MUMBAI: Atria Convergence Technologies, which has the support of private equity firms, is upping its cable TV play.

The Bengaluru-based broadband and cable TV company has decided to acquire an additional 25 per cent stake in ACN Cable, a subsidiary company which has received permanent MSO licence for Nellore region.

This will take Atria’s stake in ACN Cable to 74 per cent. Incidentally, it is the only subsidiary company in which Atria had a minority stake.

Atria has applied to the foreign investment promotional board (FIPB) for its approval.

Bala Malladi01“We are increasing our stake in ACN Cable, which has got DAS (digital addressable system) licence, from 49 per cent to 74 per cent. The financial investors of ACN Cable are looking to exit. We have applied to the FIPB for approval,” Atria Convergence Technologies chief executive officer Bala Malladi told TelevisionPost.com.

The deal will value ACN Cable at Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million). The multi-system operator (MSO) has a 90 per cent market share in Nellore, Malladi added.

The four minority partners of ACN, who are cable TV operators, will continue to hold 26 per cent. Shiv Kumar Reddy will also remain as the managing director of ACN Cable, Malladi said.

Atria runs its cable TV operations through downstream subsidiaries. In Bengaluru, the cable TV operations are run through Kable First India while ABS Broadband operates in Karnataka and ACT Digital in Andhra Pradesh. In each of these companies, Atria has 74 per cent stake while the balance 26 per cent is with the local promoters. It is only in ACN Cable that the majority stake rested with the local promoters while Atria had 49 per cent stake.

Atria has 850,000 cable TV subscribers and is targeting 1.25 million by the end of FY16. The cable TV operations are concentrated in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

ACN Cable has seeded 110,000 set-top boxes (STBs). It has an estimated cable TV subscriber base of 130,000.

Private equity giant TA Associates is investing $200 million to acquire 40 per cent stake in Atria Convergence Technologies, valuing the broadband and cable TV company at $526 million.

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