Essel shells out shares to FII to bail Zee, EPL

NEW DELHI: The promoters of Essel Group have placed 12,375,000 shares (three per cent of the equity share capital) of Zee Telefilms Limited (Zee) out of their personal holding with foreign institutional investors (FIIs). These proceeds will be used to pay dues to both Zee and Essel Propack Limited (EPL). This amount will clear the dues from the promoters to both the companies.

Enam Securities did this placement, pursuant to a mandate given to them a week ago.

The institutional investors who have purchased these 12.37 million shares are well known international investors keen on Indian media and entertainment stocks with a long-term perspective, says a statement from Zee today.

Essel group of companies chairman Subhash Chandra, as quoted in the statement, said: "Zee Telefilms Limited is going to receive the entire remaining dues. " He adds, "In my interaction with shareholders, I had made a commitment of repaying the dues of Buddha Films Pvt. Limited (BFPL) at the earliest."

The only dues outstanding from promoters to Zee were advances outstanding from BFPL.

Though these were business losses of Zee on account of marketing of cricket rights, the promoters of Essel Group had taken it on their own books. With this placement, the outstanding of promoters towards Zee would be paid off.

"We are happy to have as our shareholders institutional investors who have a long-term perspective about the company's future prospect and growth", according to Chandra, who added, "Essel Group has also taken a conscious decision to concentrate on media, entertainment and information led businesses.

"Placement of these shares re-establishes that the promoters of Essel Group will always stand by their commitment towards delivering real, sustainable shareholder value, the statement said.

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