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Tata weighs planning buying Temasek’s stake in Pay TV Platform

Tata Group is considering an offer to buy back a stake in its entertainment content distribution platform from Temasek Holdings Pte as the Indian conglomerate weighs postponing Tata Play Ltd.’s initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Tata Group is contemplating whether to delay the planned Tata Play listing because of market conditions, the people said. Instead, Tata Group has started discussions with Temasek around a deal that would give the Singaporean state investor an opportunity for a long-awaited exit from its investment in the platform, formerly known as Tata Sky, the people said.

Temasek owns about 20% of the content distribution platform, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. A joint venture between Tata Group and Walt Disney Co.’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., Tata Play provides pay television via set-top boxes and over-the-top video streaming through its app, according to the conglomerate’s website.

Tata Play has recently received green light from regulators to proceed with the IPO, the people said. Its listing would have been the first among the $128 billion Tata Group’s businesses to go public since Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.’s $1.2 billion IPO in 2004.

Discussions between Tata Group and Temasek are ongoing and could still fall apart, the people said. Tata Play could still opt for a listing should market conditions improve, they added. Representatives for Tata Group and Temasek declined to comment.

Last year Tata Play filed confidentially with India’s capital markets regulator, becoming the first Indian company to take advantage of the option to file IPO documents without making sensitive information public.

Incorporated in 2001, Tata Play expanded beyond traditional pay television and PVR services with Tata Play Binge, an OTT streaming service accessible via the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Tata Play Binge+ Smart Set Top box, Android TV and its mobile app, the Tata Sons site shows. It has a pan-India footprint of 23 million connections.

Temasek first invested in Tata Sky, as it was known at the time, in 2007, according to its website. Bloomberg

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