Zee’s Reliance Broadcast deal may trip again, over price ‘renegotiation’

Zee’s Reliance Broadcast deal may trip again, over price ‘renegotiation’ thumbnail
Mumbai: Media baron Subhash Chandra-promoted Zee Group and Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Broadcast Network (RBN) are renegotiating the acquisition deal announced in November 2016 as the former wants to reduce the price, said people in the know.

“Zee Group realised that it was paying too high a price for RBN business and now wants to renegotiate. This does not bode well for the Ambani camp and the deal might be called off soon,” said a highly placed source with the direct knowledge of the development.

The two companies, after an 11-month long on-again off-again negotiation, had reached a consensus and Zee was to acquire RBN for about ?1,872 crore. ET was the first to report about the deal on October 4 and October 31.

The deal was officially announced on November 23, 2016 as part of Reliance Capital’s stated strategy to reduce leverage and exposure in non-core business of media and entertainment.

“The entire proceeds from the stake sale would be used to reduce Reliance Capital’s debt by approximately Rs 1,900 crore upon final completion of stake sale transactions,” Reliance Capital had stated.

And while the transaction was expected to be completed in one year, it kept getting delayed because of government approvals. In the latest development, ET has learned that the deal might even be called off as Zee is renegotiating the price.

“It is not off the table yet. We will know by end of this week,” a source in Zee Group said confirming the company is renegotiating.

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