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Reports on $10 million repayment to IndusInd Bank speculative: ZEEL

Amid these reports, shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) settled 10% higher on Thursday

In connection with the media reports stating that Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) will repay $10 million to IndusInd Bank, ZEEL on Thursday stated that these are "speculative in nature".

In a regulatory filing, ZEEL said, "Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (“Company”) has been exploring several strategies, including settlement, in relation to the ongoing dispute mentioned in the news report. However, there is no clarity at this stage as to which resolution or strategy the Company will finally pursue, much less the timing of any such strategy. Accordingly, we believe that the news report is speculative in nature," it added.

Following the development, ZEEL's stock zoomed 10% higher to end at Rs 207.95 apiece on the NSE. On the BSE, it spurted 9.26% to close at Rs 206.55 per share. In volume terms, 13.23 lakh equity shares of the firm were traded on the BSE and over 2.25 crore shares on the NSE during the day. 

The reports stated that ZEEL has agreed to repay the dues owed to IndusInd Bank as the company seeks to resolve insolvency proceedings initiated against it, and move towards completing the proposed merger with Sony Group. 

Earlier, ZEEL stated that it has "mutually" settled disputes with the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) and the insolvency petition filed against it by the latter has been withdrawn before National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

Earlier this January, IPRS had moved the insolvency tribunal NCLT against ZEEL - claiming a default of Rs 211.41 crore. 

IPRS, which is a non-profit society comprising of authors, composers and music publishers, filed an application under Section 9 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) 2016, as an operational creditor claiming dues towards royalty payable for utilisation of "literary and musical works". 

On February 24, NCLAT had put a stay on the insolvency proceedings initiated against ZEEL.

Admitting a petition filed by ZEEL Managing Director and chief executive Punit Goenka, the appellate tribunal issued notices to private sector lender IndusInd Bank and the interim resolution professional directing them to file a reply in two weeks. 

On February 22, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had admitted a plea filed by IndusInd Bank to initiate insolvency proceedings. 

It had also appointed an interim resolution professional after suspending the board. 

The NCLAT order was a major reprieve for ZEEL, which is merging with rival Culver Max Entertainment, formerly known as Sony Pictures Networks India.

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