Kerala based Asianet Satellite Communications files DRHP for IPO with SEBI, issue size of Rs 765 cr

Kerala-based Asianet Satellite Communications Limited one of the leading internet service providers (“ISP”) offering broadband internet service and multi system operator (“MSO”) offering digital cable television services, predominantly present in Kerala, has filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for its Rs 765 crore initial public offering (IPO).

The initial public offering (IPO) consists of a fresh issue of equity shares aggregating to Rs 300 crore, and an offer for sale of up to Rs 465 crore by Hathway Investments Private Limited, according to the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP).

Proceeds from the fresh issue will be utilised to the tune of Rs 160 crore for part repayment/pre-payment of loans availed from lenders, Rs 75.04 crore for funding working capital requirements, and general corporate proposes.

Established in 1992, the company started its business as an MSO offering cable television services. It is among the top three fixed broadband providers in the Kerala market and had a market share of approximately 19% in fiscal 2021 with 0.28 million wired broadband subscribers in the Kerala market. In 2014, it transitioned to Gigabit Passive Optic Network (GPON) technology, a fiber optic based network that enabled it to deliver higher broadband speeds of up to 1 Gbps with further scalable bandwidth capacity and as of September 30, 2021, it owned and operated 69,758 kilometers of overhead fiber optic cable and 65,605 kilometers of overhead trunk coaxial cable network, which accounted for approximately 91% of its subscriber base in the broadband network. To better position in the market and to capture the high growth, it invested Rs 84.34 crore in fiscal 2021.

As of September 30, 2021, the company currently provides 494 channels including 64 HD channels, including 64 HD channels on its digital cable platform in a wide range of genres such as general entertainment, news and current affairs, infotainment, sports, kids, movies, music and spiritual. Its digital platform offers content with superior picture quality, sound and value added services and additional channels of different genres. In addition, it also offers a variety of SD and HD cable television content.

In 2007, Rajan Raheja-controlled Asianet Satellite Telecommunications Ltd struck an approximate $60 mn deal with private equity fund manager Providence Equity Partners. The US-based fund, which manages over $20 billion investments worldwide.

The company’s revenue from operations grew 13.12% to Rs 510.07 crore in FY21, from Rs 450.91 crore in FY20 primarily due to improvement in revenue from its broadband business mainly as a result of an increase in broadband subscribers. Its annual profit for fiscal 2021 stood at Rs 31.03 crore, which increased from Rs 0.29 crore.

Broadband being a key driver for economic growth and improving socio-economic development by increased public participation in the digital ecosystem for the low- and middle-income brackets for a developing country such as India. The broadband subscriber base in India has been growing at an accelerated pace over the past 4-5 years. Internet subscribers have grown from 251.6 million to 825.3 million at a CAGR of 18% between fiscals 2014 and 2021. Going ahead total internet subscribers are expected to increase by 6-8% CAGR to reach 1050-1100 mn by the year 2025. Fixed broadband industry was valued at approximately Rs. 145-155 billion as of fiscal 2021 with average monthly pricing of Rs. 500-550 per connection.

Axis Capital Limited, Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Private Limited are the book running lead managers to the issue.

(Economy India)