Zee further denies any connection to SFIO probe, terms news report ‘malicious’

ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd has further clarified on January 27 denying any “connection whatsoever with any alleged transaction” after a media report said Essel Group’s name may figure in a probe linked to demonetisation-led deposits of Rs 3,000 crore.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises shares had plunged 33 percent intraday to hit the 44-month low of Rs 288.95 on January 25. The stock closed at Rs 319.35 – the lowest since May 2015, down Rs 114.75, or 26.43 percent on the BSE.

The company added that it had filed a legal case against the media platform that published the report. Zee Entertainment had earlier told investors in a conference call ‘it had nothing to do with the news reported by the Wire’.

In a communication to BSE and National Stock Exchange on January 27, Zee Entertainment reiterated that Nityank lnfrapower and Multiventures Ltd was an independent company and did not belong to Essel Group, Zee’s promoter.

However, the Wire’s report on January 24 had said, “Essel maintains that Nityank is an independent firm, while Videocon alleges otherwise. The Wire’s reportage indicates that Nityank is perhaps more involved with Essel than it may admit.”

Zee, however, confirmed that the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) had asked for documents related to “certain transactions” in July-august 2018 from Essel Group entities and the company had provided the same.The SFIO is currently probing Nityank Infrapower (formerly Dreamline Manpower), for deposits of over Rs 3,000 crore made just after demonetisation.