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Astro to up stake in Sun TV's radio subsidiary by 13%
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MUMBAI: Malaysia-based Astro Group is increasing its stake in Sun TV Network's radio subsidiary South Asia FM Ltd (SAFL) by 13.02 per cent, says a source familiar with the development.

South Asia Multimedia Technologies currently owns 6.98 per cent stake in SAFL and has expressed intent to enhance its stake to 20 per cent through fresh capital infusion.

As reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com, Astro would be picking up equity in SAFL and Sun TV's stake would likely fall by five per cent to 60 per cent.

It is not clear yet what NDTV's holding would be after South Asia Multimedia Technologies hikes up its stake. NDTV currently holds three per cent stake in SAFL, the source adds.

SAFL has got the FIPB (foreign investment promotion board) nod to increase the foreign direct equity participation.

SAFL, which operates Sun TV's FM radio stations outside the southern states, is raising capital to fund its business.

Sun TV's two radio subsidiaries - Kal Radio Ltd and SAFL - have a combined turnover of Rs 331.7 million for FY'09, compared to Rs 88.7 million a year ago. After accounting for the minority interest in SAFL, the share of loss is Rs 687.9 million, as against Rs 402.8 million in the prior year period.

Kal Radio, which operates FM stations in the southern region, and SAFL together own 44 licences of which 42 radio stations were fully operational during the second half of FY'09.

Sun had earlier acquired 48.9 per cent stake in Red FM, a move that provided its FM radio business a footprint in the three metro markets of Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

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