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No such transaction being undertaken, Zeel refutes reports of merger

The media giant posted on BSE.

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New Delhi: Putting speculation to rest, the entertainment giant Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) on Monday said, there are no merger talks underway with Viacom18, as reported by a leading English daily.

“We herewith confirm that there is no such transaction being undertaken and the matter is speculative in nature. This is for your information and records,” Subhash Chandra’s Essel group owned media company posted on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday.

The statement comes in the wake of a report published by Livemint, about a potential merger between Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) through a share swap deal.

According to the report, the merger was proposed to be done through a share swap deal. “The talks started a few weeks ago, and the deal is unlikely to involve any cash transaction,” reported the publication.

Founded by Essel Group’s Subhash Chandra, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd is majority-owned by foreign institutional investors - Investco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund and Ofi Global Fund China LLC. The company is run by Chandra’s son and CEO & managing director Punit Goenka.

Earlier in the day, Zeel spokesperson had also refused to confirm or deny the speculative news item. Said a Zeel corporate official:“The company does not comment on speculation and rumours.” 

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