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Sony, ZEEL deal scrapped over valuation differences: report

The development has cleared the way for Comcast and Atairos.

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MUMBAI: Discussion between Japan’s Sony Corporation buying 20 to 25 per cent stake in the Subhash Chandra-led Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has been scrapped due to valuation differences, according to a report by Economic Times.

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.

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

ZEE’s spokesperson said, “ZEE’s stake sale process is in steady progress and in line with the previously communicated timelines. The company is in a steady dialogue with all potential prospective partners. Any additional details cannot be shared at this stage, due to the confidentiality agreements.” 

Besides Sony and Comcast-Atairos, iPhone maker Apple was also in talks with Chandra for a bid, but Zee has not shown as much interest in the Tim Cook-led company and hasn’t responded with an offer, the report added.

Sony had made a bid to merge its existing operations with ZEEL and had also offered a cash buyout option. Comcast, on the other hand, is open to promoters staying on as junior partners and will consider buying them out fully at a later date, the ET report stated.

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