Zee Entertainment's much talked about 50 per cent stake sale is likely to see the light of the day by end of July. The likely buyers could be a strategic investor as well as a financial investor, say Zee insiders.
"Post May 23, the interest level of strategic partners has suddenly risen," says an insider, who believes that the return of a stable government at the centre has considerably boosted the confidence of the management.
The company's negotiation power has further gone up with the news of its sister company, Essel Infrastructure (which has debts to the tune of Rs 11,400 crore) succeeding to sell three of its road projects in MP, Karnataka and Telangana for around Rs 3,500 crore. It is also known to have sold its power assets to Edelweiss for Rs 2,500 crore. The company is also known to be in the final stages of signing a deal with Adani Green for its solar projects. The deal size is supposed to be in the region of Rs 3,000 crore.
The main reason behind Essel Group, Chairman, Subhash Chandra, selling a stake in his best performing company, Zee Entertainment was to repay the Rs 11,400 crore debts incurred in the infrastructure business. However, with the infrastructure business managing to get rid of almost Rs 9,000 crore of its assets, insiders at Zee wonder whether their promoters actually need to sell 50 per cent of their stake. "The company is in a far better position than what it was on January 25, when the share prices tanked," says this insider.