The Goldman Sachs Group has picked up an additional 6.7% stake of 1.58 crore (1,58,26,039) equity shares in Den Networks. Goldman Sachs will now have a 24.49% in the company, and the additional stake will give Den Rs 142.43 crore ($21.26 million). The promoter group’s stake in Den will be reduced to 37%.
Goldman Sachs had picked up a 17.8% stake in the company for Rs 689 crore in 2013. Its stake in Den Networks is held through affiliates Broad Street Investments (Singapore) Pte Ltd and MBD Bridge Street 2013 Investments (Singapore) Pte Ltd. Den Networks will use the funds for its broadband business and reduce its debt.
In November last year, the cable TV distributor and multi system operator filed an application with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to modify the approval to include the primary market route as well, which could include issuing long term securities to include equity, quasi equity, GDR, QIP, FCCB, preferential allotment, bonds etc subject to shareholder approval and other laws.
At the quarter ended September 2015, FPIs held 22.79% stake in the company, while the promoter’s stake was 40.05%. In July 2015, the company received clearance from the FIPB to increase its foreign investment limit from its then 49% to 74%, which had been deferred in June 2015.
Snapdeal-Den shopping TV channel
In January last year, Snapdeal and Den launched a new TV shopping channel known as “Den Snapdeal TV Shop”. This was essentially an extension of the pilot announced in September 2014. The TV channel would operate as a marketplace for selling unbranded and branded merchandise, services and third-party vouchers, to television home shopping audiences. In July this year, Den increased its stake in this joint venture from 32.87% to 82.87%.
TRAI’s consultation paper on quality of service framework
In May this year, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a consultation paper seeking comments for developing a unified Quality of Service (QoS) framework for all TV platforms including DTH, Cable TV, HITS and IPTV. The consultation sought to bring better efficiency in services offered by players though these platforms, and better transparency for consumers. The regulator had already enforced ‘Standards of Quality of Service (Digital Addressable Cable TV Systems) Regulations, 2012 for DTH, IPTV and HITS operators only. These include procedures relating to disconnection, re-connection, complaint redressal mechanism, protection against overcharging, technical standards, auditing, etc.
In October last year, the Ministry of information and broadcasting issued 27 new provisional and three permanent multi-system operator (MSO) licences since August 2015 across India to operate in the digital addressable system (DAS) areas.