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Agrani plans to offload 74% to foreign investors

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Agrani plans to offload 74% to foreign investors

Agrani Satellite Services Ltd (ASSL), a subsidiary of Subhash Chandra-promoted ASC Enterprises Ltd. which plans to build and manage communication satellites, is planning to off-load 74 per cent to a consortium of foreign investors including a strategic partner. It has also indicated a project cost of Rs 1,197 crores ($245 million) which will be funded with a debt-equity ratio of 3:2.

The C- and Ku-band satellite proposed to be procured from ASI will be named Agrani-2 and is built around Alcatel's Spacebus satellite platform.

Once the system is in place, ASSL proposes to market and lease satellite transponder capacities over India and neighbouring countries and to provide bundled solutions to meet the fast growing telecommunications, television, Internet and other multimedia requirements in the region.

The Satcom policy announced by the department of space, permits a maximum 74 per cent shareholding in satellite operating companies.

ASC Enterprises was the first company to show interest in the satellite communication system owning and operating business, when in 1995 it obtained government approval to set up a joint venture with total FDI of $374 million to implement a GMPCS project. However, the project failed to take-off because of adverse business conditions.


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