ZEEL denies any potential merger deal with Viacom18

A business daily had reported that ZEEL and Viacom18 are in initial talks for a potential merger that could create a large media firm

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 21, 2021 2:06 PM
ZEEL

Media conglomerate ZEEL has outrightly rejected that it is in potential merger discussions with Viacom18. A business daily had reported that ZEEL and Viacom18 are in initial talks for a potential merger that could create a large media firm.

"This has reference to news item appearing on livemint.com informing about a potential merger of Viacom18 and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited through a share swap deal. We herewith confirm that there is no such transaction being undertaken and the matter is speculative in nature," ZEEL said in a regulatory filing.

One of the sources quoted in the Mint report stated that the merger will be done through a share swap and is unlikely to involve any cash transaction. The report also stated that the promoters of Viacom18 could become among the largest shareholders of the combined entity as more than 65% of ZEEL is owned by foreign institutional investors.

The source also said that a deal will only happen after the share price of ZEEL moderates by 15-20% from current levels.

Viacom18 is a 51:49 JV between Reliance and Viacom. While ZEEL is majority owned by foreign institutional investors including Investco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund and Ofi Global Fund China LLC.

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