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Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio eye stake in ZEEL: Report

Earlier, Sony Corporation withdrew its interest in the same.

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MUMBAI:  After it came to light that Sony Corporation had withdrawn its bid for a stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), Indian telecom giants Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are likely to bid for the same, according to a report by press agency IANS.

While Bharti Airtel has moved ahead and is likely to initiate a formal proposal, Reliance Jio is still considering the move.

In a statement, a Bharti Airtel spokesperson said, "Airtel is not in the race to acquire Zee.” A representative for Zee said the company doesn’t comment on speculation though it is in “steady dialogue” with potential partners.

Discussion between Japan’s Sony Corporation buying 20 to 25 per cent stake in the Subhash Chandra-led Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) had been scrapped due to valuation differences.

The development has cleared the way for a consortium of US telecom conglomerate Comcast along with its partner investment firm Atairos to take over the talks.

Chandra has been looking to sell a stake in the company in order to repay promoter debt worth Rs 13,000 crore.

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