"The ministry of information & broadcasting has cleared it for
all intents and purposes. But now Star News' proposal is pending
with the home ministry, which is examining it in detail with respect
to security issues," a Press Trust of India report quoted a government
official as saying.
The report further stated that a Star India spokesperson declined
to comment on the issue when contacted and joint venture partner
Ananda Bazar Patrika could not be reached for comments.
Star had offloaded 74 per cent equity stake in the uplinking entity
Media Content and Communication Services India Pvt Ltd (MCCS) to
the ABP Group, which had applied afresh last month, the PTI report
The fresh application by MCCS followed the government's decision
to tighten uplinking guidelines, in which it stipulated that an
Indian entity should hold at least 51 per cent equity. The government
had earlier expressed apprehensions about proxy control of Star
in MCCS wherein minority stakes had been offloaded to a clutch of
high net worth individuals like ad man Suhel Seth, Hindustan Times
editor Vir Sanghvi and Balaji Telefilms chairman Jeetendra.
In the fresh application moved by MCCS, it had sought government
permission to induct 26 per cent foreign investment from Star News
Broadcasting Ltd. The restructuring , according to the application
submitted to FIPB, was to be a two-part exercise, which involved
MCCS first becoming 100 per cent owned by Aveek Sarkar's ABP Group.
The second stage involved MCCS offloading 26 per cent in favour
Meanwhile, indiantelevision.com learns that because MCCS, for all
practical purpose, is an ABP company that has 74 per cent shareholding,
all public relation activities would now be looked after by MCCS
itself through a public relations agency.
The agency that has been shorlisted to do this job, according to
PR industry sources, is Perfect Relations.
Till now Star India used to handle most of the PR activities associated
with Star News.