Reliance Comms acquires Digicable

Claims creation of Asia's largest triple-play operator

NEW DELHI -- Following Reliance Broadcast Network's recent confirmation of its equal joint venture with CBS Studios International, sister company and India's second-largest, publicly-listed telecom player Reliance Communications announced Thursday the acquisition of one of India's largest cable service providers, Digicable, in an all-stock deal for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition further expands the entertainment and broadcasting ambitions of parent Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, India's third-largest business conglomerate with a net worth of over $13.6 billion.

The Digicable acquisition was approved by R-ADAG's board of directors and is subject to regulatory approval.

Mumbai-based Digicable is a privately-held company established in August 2007 and backed by Jagjit Singh Kohli and Yogesh Shah, with a subscriber base of 8.5 million offering analog and digital cable services and broadband covering 46 cities.
 
R-ADAG also owns a direct to home and IPTV entity branded as Reliance Big TV, which has around three million subscribers. That business will be merged with the new acquisition.
 
The new entity offering DTH, cable and broadband services will be called Reliance DigiCom, in which Digicable will be given an unspecified stake with some reports indicating that Reliance Communications is likely to retain a 60% stake in DigiCom.

With an estimated value of $1 billion, Reliance DigiCom will enjoy a subscriber base of 11 million reflecting 16% market share among pay TV homes with plans to offer over 500 digital quality and 100 high-definition channels, IPTV, video-on-demand and gaming services. 

R-ADAG claims this entity will be Asia's largest, and the world's fifth-largest, company to offer all three services -- digital TV, broadband services and voice.

“Reliance Communications led the telecom revolution in India by growing its subscriber base to over 100 million in a short span of just five years. The digital TV and broadband space is poised for similar explosive growth in the years ahead. Reliance DigiCom will fuel our four-screen strategy to own mobile, cinema, TV and computer screens, leading to world-class convergence of information, communication and entertainment solutions and services. With this game-changing move, we hope to lead the next revolution in digital home entertainment in India,” R-ADAG chairman Anil Ambani said in a statement.
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