Ananda Krishnan’s Astro to exit RedFM, Sun Direct

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018

bl21_Sun Direct

Malaysian firm looking to wind down India investments

Looking to exit India, Malaysian billionaire T Ananda Krishnan’s Astro Holdings may sell its stake in radio channel RedFM and DTH service provider Sun Direct.

Astro Group has sent feelers to investment bankers asking them to find buyers for its stake in both Chennai-based firms. “Many investment bankers have already received them, and some have even sounded out investors,” said one industry source.

Astro is floating an Information Memorandum, a document companies intending to raise funds or sell stake generally issue privately or publicly. The document contains business information, as in a prospectus, said sources, who declined to be identified.

Astro Holdings is understood to hold a 20 per cent stake in RedFM, which is partly owned by the Kalanithi Maran-controlled Sun TV.

The Malaysian group has a 30 per cent stake in Sun Direct, the DTH provider in which Maran’s Sun Network holds the majority stake.

However, the sources did not provide the timeline the Malaysian group was looking at to pare stakes.

Mails sent to Astro Holdings and RedFM did not evoke any response. Sun Direct spokespersons were not available for comment.

Last week, there were reports of Astro Holdings planning to sell its 95 per cent or so holding in Bengaluru-based Askme Group, even as the latter was considering a management-led buyout.

Askme Group CMO and Head of Digital Strategy Manav Sethi confirmed the development. “We have reason to believe Astro Group is no more looking at India for investments and plans to exit,” Sethi told BusinessLine.

Along with the Maran siblings, Ananda Krishnan was among those charge-sheeted in the 2G spectrum scam case.

Published on June 21, 2016

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