Harry Sloan, Jeff Sagansky Lead $303 Million Investment In Indian Pay TV

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Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky

The investment vehicle they created last year is acquiring 33.5 percent of a fast growing direct to home provider as Indian television goes digital

When media investors Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky raised about $325 million last July for the Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp.,  their second “black check” investment vehicle since 2012, they indicated plans to target the growing international market.

On Monday, they announced that at least $303.7 million of that will go to acquire 33.5 percent ofVideocon d2h, a fast growing pay TV service in India which provides direct to home broadcasts.

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India is currently in the process of transitioning its TV system to digital. Since it launched in 2009,Videocond2h, according to an announcement, has grown a subscriber based of 11.8 million and has a 16.5 percent share of the direct to home market in India.

Videocon d2h, based in Mumbai, India, is part of a conglomerate called Videocon Group, which has interests in electronics, oil, gas, retail, insurance and other areas.

The actual final price and number of shares to be issued as part of a new publicly traded company will vary depending on how many shareholders choose to participate.

“We created Silver Eagle for the purpose of finding a fast-growing media opportunity which is taking full advantage of the digital revolution,” said Sloan. “With almost 10 million digital subscribers, this well-managed company has passed the inflection point to become a leader in India’s explosive television growth.”

Sagansky added: "Videocon's DTH business is in what we believe to be the fastest growing segment of the media industry in India in part because of the government's ongoing mandatory digitization plan in addition to millions of Indian homes subscribing to pay TV for the first time.  Together there is an expected 33 million new Pay-Tv subscribers over the next four years and we are pleased to become part of Videocon d2h’s dynamic growth story.”

“We anticipate that the transaction with Silver Eagle will not only give us additional capital to continue development of our services,” said  Venugopal Dhoot, chairman, the Videocon Group, “but also unparalleled expertise and experience.  We look forward to working closely with Harry and Jeff on expanding our market share and services.”  

Sloan, the former chairman of MGM, and Sagansky, the former president of CBS television and former executive vp of Sony,  are expected to join the board of Videocon d2h. The American version of the shares will eventually be listed on NASDAQ.

This latest venture is separate from investments made by Global Eagle Acquisitions since it was formed in 2012 with investments of about $430 million. That money has primarily been used to acquire and grow a series of companies that provide wireless services and video content to airlines worldwide.