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DTH News : Malaysia's Astro raises Sun Direct stake to 35%
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The Kalanithi Maran-owned Kal Media Services will get a Rs 396-crore infusion from Astro All Asia Networks Plc (Astro), a Malaysia-based cross-media group. The investment by the Malaysian group will increase its shareholding in Sun Direct, the country’s second largest DTH operator, by another 15 per cent from the current 20 per cent.

Kal Media Services had applied for permission for Astro to pick up a 37.5 per cent stake in Kal Media Services. Kal Media Services was then meant to pick up a 40 per cent stake in Sun Direct, giving Astro an effective indirect stake of 15 per cent, taking Astro’s total effective holding in the DTH company to 35 per cent. Currently, Astro, via its subsidiary South Asia Entertainment Holdings, holds 20 per cent stake in Sun Direct.

The proposed investment got the Foreign Investment Promotion Board’s (FIPB’s) nod recently.

According to FIPB, “The proposal of Kal Media Services to induct foreign equity in an investment company to the tune of Rs 396 crore has been cleared.”

The proposed investment will be through Astro’s investment arm South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd (SAEHL), incorporated in Mauritius and a 100 per cent subsidiary of AOL, according to sources. Several phone calls and emails to Sun Direct officials and to Maran’s office remained unanswered.

Full Story: Sun Direct Blog

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