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Rediff.com  » Business » Balaji ends pact with Star; to buy back stake

Balaji ends pact with Star; to buy back stake

August 19, 2008 16:18 IST

Balaji Telefilms on Tuesday said it is ending a four-year old association with Star group under which an associate company of Rupert Murdoch-led global media conglomerate has been holding nearly 26 per cent stake in TV celebrity Ekta Kapoor-run entertainment content provider.

However, six existing shows produced by Balaji and currently on air with 'Star Plus', would continue on terms mutually agreed upon by the two parties.

As per an agreement reached between concerned parties and approved by Balaji Telefilms' board, the promoters of the Indian company would be allowed to buy back 25.99 per cent stake from Asian Broadcasting FZ-LLC (ABF), an associate of Star Group, within eight months, failing which these shares could be sold to any non-competing entity.

Pursuant to the agreement, Balaji promoters are entitled to purchase the entire shareholding held by ABF in the company for an average price of Rs 190 per share, within a period not exceeding 240 days.

At the agreed price of Rs 190 per share, which represents a premium of 9.8 per cent over the current market price, ABF's holding would be worth Rs 322.01 crore (Rs 3.22 billion).

Besides, Balaji and Star have also agreed to terminate another regional languages joint venture agreement signed in April 2007, the company said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The content supply agreements with Star for various shows produced by the company would also be modified to remove the restrictions imposed upon Balaji relating to exclusivity on certain prime time slots.

The agreement has been signed between Star Group, ABF, Balaji Telefilms and its promoters Bollywood actors Jeetendra Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor and Tusshar Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor.

"If the purchase does not take place within the prescribed period, ABF is entitled to sell its shares in the company to any person other than a competitor of the company," the firm said.

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