Scatmag.com

January 2020


BUSINESS NEWS


AIRTEL DISH MERGER?

Press reports in March 18 had mentioned that Bharti chairman Sunil Mittal had initiated talks with the Essel Group promoters to merge their DTH operations. If it materialises, Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV will create the world's largest TV Pay TV platform, with over 40 million subscribers.

Reports in Dec 2019 said that Bharti Airtel, Dish TV & private equity firm Warburg Pincus have agreed to merge the DTH operations, after months of negotiations. The announcement is reportedly delayed due to the Supreme Court verdict that Bharti Airtel must pay ₹ 21,000 crore to DoT as AGR dues & penalty.


BSNL & BBNL RECEIVE 1,500 CR

Good news for suppliers who are owed payments by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL).

The 2 public sector companies have received ₹ 1,500 Crores from DoT & finally started to clear their outstanding to vendors and contractors for the BharatNet-II program.

The ₹ 50,000 crore Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), released ₹ 750 crore each to BSNL and BBNL, to make vendor payments.

Paramount Wires & Cables Limited (PWCL), Sterlite Technologies Limited (STL), Aksh OptiFibre & Tejas Networks had approached the PMO to release their dues.

Delhi-based Aksh OptiFibre with outstanding of more than ₹ 85 crore, admitted a "bankruptcy threat" due to non-payment by BSNL, who has now paid it ₹ 19 Crore.


PICHAI: ALPHABET CEO TOO

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, has also been appointed CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet. He has been with Google since 2004 & became CEO of the search company, in 2015.

Pichai will receive $240 million (₹ 1,700 Cr) in stock over the next 3 years, as well as a $2 million annual salary beginning in 2020. If Alphabet shares outperform the S&P 100 Index, Pichai could receive an additional $90 million in stock.

Pichai, an engineer from Stanford & Wharton, received $200 million in stock in 2016. Last year, he turned down a grant because he said he felt he was already paid generously. His total compensation for 2018 was $1.9 million.





BHARTI TO BECOME FOREIGN COMPANY

Bharti Telecom, a promoter of Bharti Airtel, has sought government approval to bring in ₹ 4,900 crore investment from Singapore-based Singtel and other foreign entities. The move will result in India's oldest private telecom operator becoming a foreign entity, as its foreign stake in Bharti Telecom will exceed 50%. DoT had earlier returned Bharti Airtel's FDI application as the company had not provided clarity on the foreign investor. With this clarification, DoT approval is expected.

Currently, Sunil Bharti Mittal and his family own around 52% stake in Bharti Telecom & foreign investors hold 43%.

Bharti Telecom holds around 41% stake in Bharti Airtel while foreign promoter entities hold 21.46% stake in the telecom firm. Public shareholders have around 37% stake.


JIO TOWERS BUSINESS SOLD FOR $3.5 BILLION

Reliance Industries Ltd has inked binding agreements with Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, the Canadian asset management company, to sell JIO's tower assets for ₹ 25,215 Crores ($3.51 billion).

Reliance Jio Infratel Private Ltd. (RJIPL), owns JIO's telecom tower assets.

The Tower Infrastructure Trust currently owns 51% of RJIPL, while Reliance Industries holds the remaining 49%.

On receiving the funds from Brookfield, the Trust will buy Reliance's 49% stake, repay ₹ 12,000 crore to Jio and clear other financial liabilities of RJIPL. Jio will then transfer ₹ 12,000 crore to Reliance against certain financial liabilities owed to the parent company.



NETFLIX: $1B IN ASIA PACIFIC

Netflix said it has 14.48 million subscribers in the Asia Pacific region as of September 30, 2019, up 53% from Sept last year. It also crossed $1 billion in revenue from the region, Jan to Sept 2019, a 57% growth from the same period last year.

Apart from India, the Asia Pacific region comprises of Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region is currently the largest region for Netflix outside the United States, with subscriber base of 47.4 million and revenues of nearly $4 billion as of end Sept 2019, compared to 33.8 million subs & revenues of $2.87 billion last year.

In Latin America, Netflix's subscriber base has grown to 29.4 million as of end Sept 2019, from 24.1 million subscribers last year. Revenue increased to $2 billion from $1.67 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings will earn $34 million in stock options in 2020 on top of his annual salary of $650,000.

Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos will also take home the same, as a salary of $20 million & $14.65 million in stock options.



GTPL HATHWAY TO INVEST 160 CR

GTPL Hathway plans to spend ₹ 160 to 165 crore as capital expenditure in FY20, to upgrade its plant and facilities. GTPL Hathway business head - video & chief strategy officer Piyush Pankaj said in Q-1 + Q-2 this year, it has already spent ₹ 86 Cr as Capex.

GTPL Hathway MD Anirudhsinh Jadeja said the company plans to increase its share of the revenue gradually. In Q2, the ARPU increased to ₹ 123-124 from ₹ 121. If ARPU touches ₹ 146, it will yield an annual increase ₹ 120 crore.

Jadeja stated the company plans to seed 1 million STBs in FY20 & have 8 million DAS Subs by end of this fiscal.

It has targeted 400,000 broadband subs this fiscal, with an ARPU of ₹ 430.



AIRTEL TO RAISE $3 BILLION

B h a r t i A i r t e l ' s board of directors h a v e approved a proposal to raise up to $3 billion to pay for overdue fees it owes the government. $2 billion will be raised through one or more qualified institutions placement, public and/or private offerings of equity shares, compulsory convertible debentures or other convertible securities or warrants or American depositary receipts (ADR) global depositary receipts ( GDR) or a combination.

Airtel will also raise funds through issuance of unsecured and/ or secured, listed and/or unlisted, foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), aggregating up to $1 billion.

Airtel reported a consolidated net loss of ₹ 23045 Crores ($3.21 billion) for the September quarter. n