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Zee rejects Star offer to sell 3% stake

22-May-2002
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Zee rejects Star offer to sell 3% stake

The Zee group has rejected the offer made by the Star group to sell a 3 per cent stake in Zee Telefilms. Zee has, however, made it clear that STAR is still bound to offer it the stake before offloading it to a third party.

In a communication to the BSE, Zee Telefilms said that it has informed Star that "their offer dated April 19, 2002 was not a valid offer. As such the Star parties are not exonerated or released from their obligations under the 1999 agreement.

Zee has further made it clear to STAR that any sale or transfer of the ZTL shares by STAR, without giving Zee any right of first refusal, would violate the 1999 agreement between the two sides and would constitute a material breach of the agreement.

At the heart of the issue is the alleged inability on Star'' part to provide the requisite RBI approvals which would have enabled the conversion of these shares to repatriable ones from non-repatriable ones.

Zee has already approached the RBI seeking the necessary clarifications. Star had offered the shares to Zee through a letter dated April 19, 2002, which Zee accepted through another letter on April 26.

Since the RBI clarifications did not materialise, Zee wrote to STAR on May 15 outlining its position and spelling out the reasons for its refusal but at the same time staking a future claim.

STAR acquired the stake in Zee Telefilms when Subhash Chandra bought out Rupert Murdochs'' 50 per cent stake in Asia Today, the broadcasting arm of the Zee group.

Source: Business Standard

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