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Zee Entertainment shares jump on Sony stake buy buzz; key things to know

FE Online

Shares of Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Entertainment Enterprises gained in trade on Thursday morning after media reports indicated that Sony is in advanced talks with the firm to pick up 20-25% stake in the firm. Zee Entertainment share price gained nearly 3% to hit the day’s high at Rs 463. Zee’s stake sale comes even as the company is struggling to raise funds and pay off debt. The amount raised via the deal will be used to repay promoter debt worth Rs 13,000 crore, a Livement report said citing three people aware of the discussions.

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The report added that the talks have reached the valuation stage, wherein Subhash Chandra wants to sell the stake at a premium of about 30%, citing unidentified sources. However, the concern could be the total stake that promoter Subhash Chandra wants to retain in Zee, as Essel Group holds about 41.62% stake in Zee, of which more than half is pledged with lenders, according to latest available data.

Notably, in February, a Nomura report had said that Zee would be a good strategic fit for Comcast as well as Sony Corp, amid reports that the two have been shortlisted by Zee Entertainment for a potential stake sale. According to Nomura, the potential deal would help Sony leapfrog in terms of profitable growth in India. Following the stale sale, Nomura expects the stock to re-rate back to the long-term average of 25x FY21F P/E as the promoters resolve the pledged stake. Further re-rating will likely depend on success in digital and possibility of a strategic buyer, said the firm.