Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is in talks to acquire India’s largest cable operator, Hathway Cable & Datacom. With this acquisition, the company is looking to speed up the commercial launch of its GigaFiber high-speed home broadband services.
However, some people familiar with the development have stated that the talks were at an initial stage and a deal was still at an exploratory stage.
“It’s too early to say if the deal will go through or not, but RIL is aggressively pursuing it,” one of the people said. “The valuation figure being discussed is around Rs 2,500 crore,” the person added.
Hathway is one of the largest Digital Cable TV and Broadband Internet Services provider in India that offers cable television services across 140 cities. It is a multi-system operator (the industry term for a cable company) that signs content and carriage deals with broadcasters and offers the services to local cable operators.
This is not for the first time that RIL is eyeing acquisition in the cable TV industry. It was last year that the conglomerate was in advanced talks with DEN Networks for a possible acquisition. However, this deal did not take place.
Hathway had a net debt of Rs 1,617 crore at the end of March and is further looking to deleverage its balance sheet by Rs 500 crore in the next two years. Industry experts stated that this acquisition of Hathway would give a jumpstart to Jio’s broadband plans because it would get them more than 11 million digital cable TV subscribers and 800,000 broadband users.
Hathway’s average revenue per user for broadband business was around Rs 710 per month, in the June quarter.