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Subhash Chandra to sell up to 50% stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises

Chandra-run Essel Group has a stake of 41.62% in Zeel and expects that the outcome of the strategic review will be concluded by March or April 2019

Subhash Chandra

The Subhash Chandra-run Essel Group has decided to sell up to 50% of the promoters’ equity in Zee Entertainment Enterprises to a strategic partner.

In a BSE filing on Tuesday, the group said it has appointed Goldman Sachs Securities India as the investment banker and the multinational LionTree as an international strategic advisor for a “strategic review of its businesses in view of the changing global media landscape”.

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The company expected that the outcome of the strategic review will be concluded by March or April 2019.

Promoter group companies held a stake of 41.62% in Zee Entertainment at the end of September while remaining was held by public shareholders.

According to the filing, Essel expects the proposed transaction to address its capital allocation priorities. The promoters feel that the review is necessary to pursue disruptive technological development and transform the business into a tech-media company.

The promoters said, “There is recognition that a right global strategic partner will help in transforming Zeel further, and maximise long-term value. It will transform it into a global media-tech player with a unique offering of content to the mainstream audiences in 170 plus countries, putting it into a king position globally.”

The strategic review underscored the importance of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D printing and other technological advancements. “There is informed recognition that the world is convergent today and the lines across media, telecom, manufacturing and technology are thinner than ever,” it said.

These developments will impact virtually all businesses across sectors and business practices will be driven by technological innovation. The review showed that the family needs to accelerate efforts to stay ahead of changing trends, the filing said.

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