The leading direct-to-home (DTH) platform has already appointed
as the lead banker and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM), one of India’s largest corporate law firms, to advise on the IPO and subsequent listing, one of the people said.
“A Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) is being finalised and is likely to be filed with the market regulator Sebi (the Securities and Exchange Board of India) by the end of this month,” said the person on condition of anonymity.
This is not the first time that Tata Play’s promoters have toyed with the idea of an IPO.
In December 2020, ET reported that Disney, which owns around 30% of the DTH company — 20% directly and 9.8% indirectly — was looking to offload the stake that it had inherited as part of the global buyout of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox business.
There were at least three other instances – in 2013, 2016 and 2019 – where the promoters had revisited the IPO plans before shelving them, said the second person.
“Last time, there was more seriousness, but then the pandemic hit the world. Now, one of the investors, Temasek, wants an exit and an IPO is being evaluated as the way,” the person said.
The third executive, a banker, said that Temasek and Tata Group were driving the IPO plan.
“The feelers have already been sent to the market to gauge reaction. Temasek, which has remained invested since 2008, is looking for an exit and if not now, it might be too late for an IPO,” he added.
“As a matter of policy, Temasek does not comment on market speculation and rumours,” a spokesperson for Temasek said in response to ET’s queries.
One major change is that Disney, which earlier was looking at an exit, has now decided to stay invested, but might look at reducing its stake, said the people.
“Disney doesn’t want to exit Tata Play anymore,” said a highly placed source. “They have yet to decide on offloading part of their 30% stake but have given the go-ahead for the IPO.”
Tata Sons owns 51% of Tata Play. Tata Play did not reply to ET’s queries till press time Friday.
Tata Play, according to group insiders, is seen as strategically important and adding value to the group’s digital growth plans.
“Discussions are currently on in terms of roping in a strategic investor and offering an exit route to some investors,” said a Tata Group insider.
Murdoch-owned Fox entered into a joint venture with the Tata Group in 2004 to launch the DTH company with a 20% stake. Later in 2008, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings acquired a 10% stake in the company.
Tata Play, which had 18.3 million active pay subscribers as of March 31, posted an operational revenue of Rs 4,741 crore and a net profit of Rs 68.6 crore for FY22.