Essel Group’s promoter entities sold shares worth Rs 1050 cr in listed entities: Report

MUMBAI: Essel Group-owned promoter firms have offloaded shares worth over Rs 1,050 crore in six listed companies through an open market transaction between 25th January and 1st February, newswire PTI has reported.

As per regulatory filings, different promoter group entities of Essel group have sold shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), Dish TV, Zee Media Corporation, Siti Networks, Diligent Media Corporation and Zee Learn were sold in open market.

Essel-owned Cyquator Media Services and Essel Corporate LLP sold 1.69% and 0.85% stake in ZEEL to raise Rs 874.11 crore.

The promoter firms sold 2.01% stake in direct to home (DTH) operator Dish TV to raise Rs 97.34 crore. Those promoter owned entities that sold stakes include World Crest Advisors LLP (0.86%), Direct Media Distribution Ventures (0.80%) and Veena Investments Pvt Ltd (0.35%).

ARM Infra & Utilities and 25FPS Media sold 2.38% and 3.09% stake in Zee Media Corporation to raise Rs 45.05 crore.

The two companies also sold 4.5% stake in Diligent Media Corporation to worth Rs 2.9 crore. ARM Infra & Utilities sold 1.41% while 25FPS Media offloaded 3.09% in the company that runs English newspaper DNA.

In Siti Networks, Arrow Media & Broadband sold 4.50% for Rs 28.88 crore on 28 January. Jayneer Infrapower & Multiventure sold 0.34% stake in Zee Learn for Rs 2.92 crore in open market.

The report stated that the transaction value has been calculated based on the weighted average price of the stock on the day of the sale and the number of shares sold.

On Sunday, the Essel Group issued a statement saying that it had sealed a formal agreement with its lenders, under which it gets time till September to deleverage or pare its debt. On 25th January, Essel group companies saw a combined erosion of Rs 13,352 crore in market valuation following reports that a promoter entity is being probed for cash deposits after demonetisation.

On 26th January, Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra had promised that he will clear the debt of lenders by selling promoter stake in his crown jewel ZEEL. He had also admitted having made wrong decisions like making incorrect bids in the infrastructure business and the merger of direct to home (DTH) operator Videocon d2h with Dish TV.

He had also alleged that some negative forces are out to sabotage his efforts to raise money through a strategic sale in the flagship company ZEEL.

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