India's Bharti Airtel is in discussions with US-based private equity firm Carlyle, KKR and Bain Capital to sell a 20% stake in its direct-to-home (DTH) arm Airtel Digital TV, according to Business Standard.
With a reported valuation of US$1 billion for the business, the sale of this minority stake is expected to raise around $200 million.
Rival DTH operator Videocon d2h is also seeking funding through a proposed 7,000 million rupee initial public offer (IPO), a route Tata Sky is also reported to be exploring, says Business Standard.
New research from Media Partners Asia suggests the Indian DTH satellite TV market will grow threefold to reach $5.3 billion by 2020, due to the Government's mandatory cable TV digitisation program. The group also forecasts that India's active DTH subscriber base will grow from 32.4 million in 2012 to 63.8 million by 2017 and 76.6 million by 2020.
Revenues for India's DTH market – shared by six private players including Airtel Digital TV, Videocon d2h and Tata Sky – were thought to have reached around $1.5 billion in 2012.