While Essel Group (Dish TV promoter) has opted to explore a sale of the business for cash instead of an all-stock merger, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private, Airtel Ltd. remained committed to offering shares, contributing to the stalemate, the people said.
As per media sources, no final decision has been made, and discussions could still be revived. Dish TV has a market value of 24.5 billion rupees ($344 million).
Also, Essel Group have been selling assets to pare debt at the conglomerate, whose businesses span media to entertainment and education. Last year, the tycoon sold about 16% stake in his flagship Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., India’s largest publicly traded television network. The group was also in talks to sell toll-road projects to an arm of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Bloomberg News reported previously.
Experts say that merger of the two satellite television service providers could help Bharti fend off rival and billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. that bought India’s leading cable operators Den Networks Ltd. and Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd.