Zee Telefilms likely to call off deal to buy Venus

MUMBAI: Zee Telefilms Ltd (ZTL) is likely to call off its deal to acquire 60 per cent stake in Venus Films Pvt Ltd and Venus Records & Tapes Pvt Ltd.

"Zee won't go ahead with the acquisition of Venus," an industry source tells ZTL had announced in March that it would buy controlling stake in Venus, subject to due diligence and final approval from the board.

Zee Network senior vice president Ashish Kaul, however, did not confirm that the deal had fallen through. "A due diligence has been conducted and it will be presented at the ZTL board meeting. A decision will be taken after that," he says.

When contacted, Venus promoter Ganesh Jain refused to comment on the issue. The Zee board is meeting on 24 July to consider and approve, among other things, the financial results of the company for the first quarter.

Zee already has secured telecast rights to most of the Hindi movies produced by Venus including Garam Masala, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Josh, Kyunki and Baazigar. "The failure of the deal won't have much impact on Zee as the company has the rights to most of the successful movies of Venus. Some rights to movies like Hulchul are, though, with Star India. What would have been of interest is the joint film production activities," the source adds.

The deal would also have given Zee access to Venus' music titles. While Venus Films has negative rights of 30 blockbuster films, Venus Records & Tapes has a repertoire of 2500 titles. Venus also has post-production facilities.

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