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Tata Sky Plans IPO To Give Disney An Exit

In this season of tech-driven IPOs, an older tech firm from the Tata stable is also readying for an IPO. Tata Sky, the DTH provider (which also has broadband service ambitions), has been around for over a decade and has been beaming bouquets of TV channels into homes across the country. Set up as a joint venture with Sky TV of the UK, then controlled by Rupert Murdoch, it has steadily expanded its coverage. And while competitor Dish TV may cater to more homes, Tata Sky, focusing away from the bottom end of the market, is way ahead in terms of revenues. It is now a mature business and ready for an IPO. After Murdoch sold Fox TV (but not Fox News) to Disney, the Sky holding had passed on to Disney. But India was the only country where Disney had a stake in broadcast distribution, and it did not fit in with Disney’s business. So, the IPO is an exit route for Disney. It will raise some money for the company and also give Tata Sons a liquid listed asset. The investment bankers are just being appointed to prepare the draft prospectus. This will be one more share issue likely to be lapped up by the public.