Monday, February 5, 2007

Providence Private Equity to buy stake in Asianet for Rs. 300 crores

US private equity fund Providence is reportedly buying a minority stake in Asianet Satellite Communications, Kerala’s largest cable operator for Rs. 300 crores. Providence invests only in media and communication companies. Last year, it bought 16% in AV Birla-controlled Idea Cellular, India’s sixth-largest cellular operator for about $400 mn. The firm has opened an office in New Delhi.

Asianet reaches about 500,000 homes directly in Kerala and provides signal to other local cable operators covering an additional 300,000 homes. The company has been betting big on the integrated services play of late and has forayed into broadband through Asianet Data Line, which is expected to contribute an additional Rs. 25-30 crores to the topline this year. The company also operates a bouquet of channels, such as Jewel Box, Medley and Asianet Cable Vision.

Launched in August 1993, Asianet is the oldest Malayalam channel and beams its programmes through Intelsat to over 15 countries in West Asia, South and South-East Asia. The Asianet channel is also picked up by other cable operators in the state.
The 13-year-old channel is going for a major expansion in the near future. New Kannada and Tamil channels will be the latest additions to the bouquet of channels bearing the Asianet logo.

Read The Economic Times article.
Related Post: Providence Equity Partners opens offices in Hong Kong and India

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