Atlas Consolidated LLC, a joint venture between Greenwich Equity Partners and Jagran Infra Projects, has decided to foray into Indian cable television market in tie-up with Bhima Riddhi Digital Services, which runs cable TV networks in parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday to create a nationwide multiscreen operator (MSO). The estimated valuation of the deal is $200 million, or about Rs 1,200 cr . The third phase of digitisation through conditional access systems (CAS) that requires TV set-top boxes, will need massive scale of roll out, said Nagesh Chhabria, promoter of Bhima Riddhi Group and erstwhile chief executive officer at IndusInd Media & Communications.
The new entity, which is yet to be christened, will be operational within the next 8 to 10 weeks and will be rolled out in a phased manner starting from western and central India. To be headquartered in Mumbai, it plans to have a pan-India network with target base of 6 million cable TV subscribers in the next 18 months.
Atlas will hold a significant stake in the entity. “We are excited to be in this space at this time and find that there is tremendous potential in this industry,” said Suhas Kundapoor, managing director at Greenwich Equity, a New York-based emerging markets fund with a focus primarily on infrastructure and media.
Jagran Infra specialises in the production and entertainment space.