Television

BlackRock stake in Zeel crosses 5% mark

The international investor held 4.77 per cent stake before the transaction.

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MUMBAI: Despite the debt crisis of the promoter group of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel), foreign fund investors aren’t shying away from betting their money. New York-based BlackRock has increased its stake in the Indian media conglomerate. Before 21 November, BlackRock held 4.77 per cent stake which has now crossed 5 per cent.

Before the acquisition, BlackRock had 45,837,578 shares carrying voting rights in the company. Now, it has increased by 0.24 per cent in an on-market transaction reaching 48,191,811 shares. Post the acquisition, the total diluted share of BlackRock in Zeel stands at 960,483,235, as per a listing in the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

On the morning of 20 November, Essel Group announced its plan to sell 16.5 per cent stake in its flagship property  Zeel to financial investors to clear off its massive debt. Their offer putting on sale 16.5 per cent of the Essel group’s pledged holding in Zeel was quickly mopped up by existing and long-term investors in Zeel at a price of Rs 304 per share the very next morning.

In another development, media maven Subhash Chandra has resigned as chairman of Zeel with immediate effect. While the board has been reconstituted, three new independent directors have been appointed in lieu of two independent and one nominee director of Essel Group, namely Niharika Vora, Sunil Sharma and Subodh Kumar, respectively.

The company said in a statement that reconstitution of the board was to strengthen and induct independent members with varied experiences to build value and provide a strong signal to the existing and new institutional investors who have recently reposed their faith in the intrinsic value of the company, by investing Rs 4770 crore.

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