Zee stake sale may face ar­bi­tra­tion or­der hur­dle

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

Mum­bai: The in­terim or­der in the ar­bi­tra­tion between Es­sel Group main pro­moter Sub­hash Chan­draand In­di­a­b­ulls could po­ten­tially com­pli­cate the case for fund houses that are yet to get about Rs 3,300 crore from Chan­dra’s Es­sel group. Al­though Es­sel Group said that the shares they are sell­ing are al­ready pledged and the or­der re­lates to shares not pledged, fund houses are still look­ing for clar­ity on the mat­ter.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, fund houses that had in Fe­bru­ary this year en­tered into an agree­ment to not sell Zee En­ter­tain­ment shares af­ter Es­sel Group de­layed pay­ment to them on loans Chan­dra had taken by pledg­ing the shares of Zee En­ter­tain­ment may ex­tend the last date be­yond Septem­ber 30. Un­der the ear­lier agree­ment signed between lenders and Es­sel Group, it had till this month-end to pay to mu­tual funds and NBFCs. In Thurs­day’s weak mar­ket, Zee En­ter­tain­ment shares closed 7.9% down at Rs 309.

In late Au­gust, In­di­a­b­ulls ob­tained an or­der from an ar­bi­tra­tor that any Zee En­ter­tain­ment shares held by Chan­dra, which are not pledged, could not be sold till mid-Oc­to­ber. A spokesper­son from Es­sel Group said, “Ar­bi­tra­tion pro­ceed­ings between Es­sel Group and In­di­a­b­ulls Hous­ing Fi­nance do not have any bear­ing on the on­go­ing stake sale of Zee En­ter­tain­ment, as shares be­ing di­vested are al­ready pledged with MFs, NBFCs and banks.” On Wed­nes­day, of­fi­cials from fund houses that are to get money from Es­sel Group met the man­age­ment of the group.

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