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Videocon looking to sell stake in unit for $75-$100 million: Sources

MUMBAI: Videocon Industries is looking to sell a 25 per cent stake in its direct-to-home broadcast services business for roughly $75 million to $100 million and is in talks with private equity firms, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Potential investors in the unit, branded D2H, include ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of No 2 Indian lender ICICI Bank, sources said. Videocon has hired UBS to find an investor, sources said.

Videocon and ICICI Venture declined to comment. UBS officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

DTH services have been gaining momentum in India due to increasing spending power in an upwardly mobile population. Videocon D2H had launched its operations in 2009. Other operators include Tata-Sky, a joint venture between Tata Group and News Corp, Airtel DTH from Bharti Airtel, Sun Direct from Sun TV and Reliance Big TV from Reliance Communications.

Private equity investment in India is accelerating, as rising borrowing costs and dormant public markets push firms to cut deals with buyout firms in return for much-needed cash injections.

India is flooded with private equity firms looking for investments — from global buyout shops like Blackstone, 3i Group and KKR, to homegrown firms like IDFC and IFCI.

Indian companies signed private equity deals worth $3.2 billion in the first nine months of 2011, up from nearly $2 billion in the same period last year, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

The deals include India’s second-biggest private equity investment of the year, with Apollo Global Management injecting around $500 million in Indian steel pipe maker Welspun group in June.

Shares in Videocon Industries closed up 1.56 per cent at 175.60 rupees in a Mumbai market that closed up 0.46 per cent.

Source: The Economic Times

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