Apollo to invest $100m in Indian TV

Apollo has acquired an 11% stake in direct-to-home satellite TV company DishTV India.

Apollo Management is investing $100 million for an 11 percent stake in DishTV India, a subsidiary of Indian media conglomerate Zee Group.

As part of the deal, the company will issue new equity shares in the form of 117,035 Global Depositary Receipts (GDR) at a price of $854.5 per GDR to Apollo. Following the issue, the private equity firm will own 11 percent of the expanded capital of the company.

DishTV, which provides direct-to-home satellite television services, has more than six million subscribers. The company provides more than 240 channels and services on its platform, including 21 audio channels. Its distribution network consists of about 800 distributors and 48,000 dealers across 6,600 Indian towns.

The capital infusion will be used to help increase the company’s subscriber base, the firms said in a statement. DishTV represents the type of franchise and industry leading asset that extends the private equity firm’s media expertise to the “burgeoning India market”, Mintoo Bhandari, managing director of Apollo’s India operations, said in a statement.

The transaction is expected to be complete by 30 November.

Apollo manages assets of approximately $50 billion from offices in London, Singapore, Frankfurt and Mumbai. Some of the firm’s past investments in the media and satellite space include US-based Hughes Network Systems, which provides broadband satellite network products and Sirius Satellite Radio, a satellite radio service in the US and Canada.

Apollo is reportedly preparing to list itself on the New York Stock Exchange in the next few weeks, a report in the Financial Times said last week. Apollo would be the third private equity firm to list on the exchange, following The Blackstone Group and Fortress Investment Group.

The firm registered in August 2008 to raise up to $480 million via a NYSE listing. The preceding year it listed its shares on Goldman Sachs' private exchange, following stake sales to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the California Public Employees' Retirement System.