afaqs! news bureau

Essel Group to sell 16.5% in ZEEL; stake down to 5%

Media Mogul Shubash Chandra’s Essel Group is planning to sell 16.5 per cent stake in ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (“ZEEL”) to financial investors.

In a media statement the group announced that it “Seeks to sell up to 16.5 per cent stake in ZEEL to financial investors, in order to repay loan obligations to certain lenders of the Group for whose benefit such shares are currently encumbered (and who have consented to such share sale by the Group).”

Out of the aforesaid the Group seeks to sell 2.3 per cent stake in ZEEL to OFI Global China Fund, LLC and/or its affiliates. “Pursuant to the aforementioned transactions, the post-transaction overall holdings of the Group in ZEEL will be 5 per cent, out of which encumbered holdings of the Group will reduce to 1.1 per cent of ZEEL,” the group announced.

The statement added, “This development reaffirms the Group's positive progress on its overall asset divestment approach, undertaken to generate adequate liquidity for the repayment process. The Group is also working actively on further divestments including its media/ non-media assets and remains confident to complete the same.”

Sources in the organisation informed that this development is not likely to impact Punit Goenka’s portfolio and he will continue to remain the MD and CEO of ZEEL.

In August 2019, 8.7 per cent of promoter’s stake in Zee was sold to Invesco Oppenheimer (US based financial investor) reportedly for Rs 4,224 crore.

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