India Value Fund (IVF) has received FIPB approval to acquire up to 100% stake in Bangalore-based Internet services provider Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT). IVF will be investing up to Rs 200 crore for this stake acquisition. IVF’s proposal had earlier been deferred by FIPB, in April and January this year. Note that this stake acquisition pertains only to ACT’s broadband business, and the shareholding of ACT’s cable TV business will remain unaffected.
India Value Fund is an existing investor in ACT and holds about 70% stake in the company, while the remaining 30% is held by ACT MD C.S. Sunder Raju and member of ACT’s board of directors K Nagaraju. ACT had raised $23 million of debt financing from Olympus Capital Asia Credit (OCA Credit) and Kilimanjaro Credit Fund, in February last year. In June 2014, ACT had also acquired an additional 20% stake in Hyderabad-based ISP Beam Telecom for an undisclosed amount, thereby increasing its stake in the company to 80%. ACT had rebranded its broadband brand ACT Broadband as ACT Fibernet following its aqcusition of Beam Telecom and said it will provide 100 Mbps for retail use and up to 250 Mbps for commercial usage as part of its rebranding plan.
ACT’s plans to expand its broadband business will get a push with the new funds coming in. In February this year, the company had said that it was planning to roll out broadband services across the country and had earmarked Rs 100 crore investments for each centre. ACT is currently present in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and recently began operations in Visakhapatnam. They’ll be launching broadband services in Coimbatore shortly.
ACT claims to have a customer base of close to 700,000 in the country (as of February 2015). The company also claims to be largest wired-broadband provider in Hyderabad with 450,000 connections and says it has 140,000 connections in Bangalore, commanding a market share of 25%.