Essel group chairman, Subhash Chandra, is willing to dilute his stake in Zee Telefilms below 50 per cent, in order to attract a global strategic partner. Zee Telefilms had earlier hired Swiss investment banker UBS Warburg to hunt for a strategic partner to raise its profile in international markets.
Chandra's earlier plan of offloading 8-10 per cent stake in Zee Telefims reportedly failed since global media players were keen on picking up a larger stake.
Global media companies interested in shopping for the deal with Zee include Viacom --which owns MTV and CBS Network, US Studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Vivendi Universal, owner of Universal Studios among others.
At present, the promoters of Zee Telefilms hold 59 per cent, foreign institutional investors 19 per cent, domestic financial institutions 7 per cent, Star 4 per cent, while corporates and individuals hold the rest. Recently, the group's promoter sold 50 lakh equity shares (close to one per cent) to a long term US-based institutional investor to repay Rs 60 crore of total liability of Rs 220 crore towards Zee Telefilms.