VTB Group Acquires Rights To Sell 10.7% Stake In Zee Entertainment

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. on Wednesday said VTB Capital PLC, the investment management arm of Russia-based state-run financial services giant VTB Group, has acquired rights to sell 10.71 percent equity held by Essel Media Ventures in the company.

Confirming media reports, Zee said VTB Capital Plc has secured the right to potentially monetise 10.28 crore shares of the company held by its promoter Essel Media Ventures.

“Pursuant to its right under the loan facility and upon instruction from the lenders VTBC has acquired the right to direct the disposal of 10.71 per cent stake in the target company held by Essel Media Ventures Ltd on October 11, 2019 and this disclosure is being made accordingly,” Zee said in a stock exchange filing.

However, it added that the “said shares continue to be held by their current holder”, which is Essel Media Ventures.

Essel Media Venture had created pledge on 10.71 percent stake in favour of VTB Capital in 2017. As on September 2019, promoters had 22.37 percent stake in Zee, with the rest 77.63 percent being held by the public.

The Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group, which is facing a debt of over Rs 11,000 crore, had on Sept. 19 said it has secured a six-month extension from local lenders, including mutual funds, to repay debt.

The debt-ridden Essel Group had on earlier on July 31 this year announced to sell 11 percent promoter stake in Zee to Invesco Oppenheimer for Rs 4,224 crore.

Later on Sept. 10, Essel Group announced completion of the first tranche of Zee stake sale (8.7 percent) to Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund.

Sale process for the remaining 2.3 percent stake is yet to be completed.

Essel Group had also said it was working actively on further divestment, including its non-media assets.―Bloomberg Quint

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