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FIPB approves Idea, Star Den proposals; defers Flag, Axel Springer proposals

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), has cleared proposals of two digital businesses:

  • Idea Cellular’s wholly owned subsidiary Idea Cellular Infrastructure Services Ltd (ICISL) has become a foreign owned company, with more than 50% foreign investment: the FIPB has taken this on record, and allowed foreign investment in it up to 67.5%.
  • Star Den Media Services Private Limited has been allowed to to discontinue “its current business of providing support services to broadcasters in relation to TV channel distribution business, and thus (B) continue to act only as investing company.” It’s not clear what this investing company will do, but STAR Den is now entirely owned by Star: In March 2016, Star had bought out the stake in the JV with Den Networks for Rs 40.35 crore. Star Den was 50:50 joint venture between the two companies – Star which is a news corp owned entity, and Den, which is a listed company – which operated as a content aggregator, leveraging Den’s distribution network. When launched in 2008, the JV had intended to distribute content through cable, DTH, IPTV, HITS, MMDS, and more modes of distribution. The 2014 TRAI’s cable TV aggregator guidelines upended the entire TV aggregator business.

It has, however, deferred others:

  • Internet backbone provider Flag Telecom (Flag Telecom Singapore Pte Limited), a subsidiary of Reliance Communications (RCOM), India has sought approval to acquire 100% shares of M/s Reliance Global Cloud Xchange Limited, which has been recently incorporated in June 2016 by Indian residents.
  • Crest Premedia Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (CPSPL) has sought approval for issuance of equity shares to the non-resident shareholders of Springer SBM Holding Ltd., a Mauritius Company under a Scheme of Amalgamation. SBM Holding will amalgamate into CPSPL, which is part of the Springer Group of companies.
  • Scientific Publishing Services Pvt Ltd has sought approval for issuance of equity shares to the non-resident shareholders of Springer SBM Services Limited, a Mauritius Company under a Scheme of Amalgamation of SBM Services with SPSPL, pursuant to approval of the High Court.
  • You Broadband India Limited has sought post facto approval for acquisition of 9,79,875 equity shares of its downstream company Digital Outsourcing Private Limited (DOPL) in lieu of issue of 20,58,759 equity shares to its resident shareholders by way of swap of shares.
    Telecom
  • Approval has been sought by Netmagic Solutions Private Limited for the increase in the shareholding of NTT Communications Corporation, Japan in the company from 81.63% to 100%.

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