Star Network has sold its entire stake of 25.99 per cent in Balaji Telefilms through a block deal on Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) for price expected at Rs.108 crore. Exchange4media had confirmed this from a source in Balaji Telefilms. However, as to the buyer of the stake it is still unknown. We have not received a comment from Star India yet at the time of this being published.
The deal is said to be done at a discounted rate with average price of Rs.63.60 per share. The Ekta Kapoor headed company shares have increased by almost 20 per cent with 15.85 points rise.
Uday Shankar, CEO Star India, said, “This confirms Star’s exit of a minority stake of 25.99% in Balaji Telefilms. Axis capital acted as advisors to Star and also executed the on-market sale on August 5th 2015. This is in line with our strategy to focus on core businesses where Star has the ability to shape and scale the future growth path of its investments. Our programming and contractual relationships with Balaji are deep and we continue to work on strengthening them to our mutual benefit.”
Star India has been trying to offload its stake in Balaji Telefilms since 2008 when it started scouting for buyers. In 2014 there were media reports saying that an Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group, either Reliance Big Entertainment or Reliance Mediaworks, was to be a frontrunner to acquire the stake. It had first acquired 21% stake in Balaji Telefilms from the promoters at Rs.90 per share to a total amount of Rs.123 crore. It had subsequently increased its share to 25.9 per cent in the company. Star and Balaji Telefilms had enjoyed content exclusivity which was later on scrapped. According to media reports the relationship between the two companies went bad after intense competition from other production houses overthrew the rating of Balaji’s shows.