Zee Network is understood to have acquired 15 per cent stake in the newspaper chain Asian Age. The reports of acquisition of equity in the pan-Asian newspaper comes amid the controversy over Zee Network's claim of picking up stake in rival B4U and Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, despite the two companies stoutly denying Zee's bid. Taking equity in Asian Age is part of Zee's overall strategy to enter into various television and media companies in a bid to consolidate its position.
Asian Age sources said that Zee had picked up equity in the paper chain in the recent past but declined to give details. The Zee spokesperson in Mumbai also declined to either confirm or deny the development.
The acquisition spree comes at a time when Zee has slipped behind rival STAR TV and Sony Entertainment Television in terms of both television ratings and audience share.
Despite the expansion, Zee has emerged as one of the top 10 wealth destroyers in terms of market capitalisation, which fell by a whopping 88 per cent from Rs 41,739 crore on March 31, 2000 to Rs 5,016 crore on March 30 this year.
Zee Telefilms shares, known to be among the 10 scrips favoured by Ketan Parekh, have continued to slide during most part of April this year.