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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

Sony: Promoters disagree on stake valuation

Sonali Krishna in Mumbai | January 03, 2006 13:27 IST

Disagreement has surfaced among the Indian promoters of Sony Entertainment Television over the valuation of their combined 32 per cent stake in the channel.

Sources said a section of the promoters expect to realise $320 million from the stake sale, which puts the valuation of the company at $1billion. However, others, it is learnt, are not too sure on this.

Seven Indian promoters - including Singapore-based banker Rakesh Agarwal, Shemaroo Films managing director Raman Maroo, World Media Group director Sudesh Iyer and actor Jackie Shroff - together hold the 32 per cent. Sony Pictures has 61 per cent stake. The remaining shares are held by institutions.

Initially, there was consensus over the stake sale. However, Sudesh Iyer of World Media Group told Business Standard he had no plans to sell his shares. He was not ready to divulge the reasons behind his decision to shift stance on stake sale.

Actor Jackie Shroff confirmed his plan to sell off his stake in SET but was not sure when a final decision could be taken.

"I think it's high time to convert my whites into greens. I have no issue with selling, but my position will be determined only by the decision of the senior partners. A clarity on the issue is expected to emerge by the end of this month," he said.

Rakesh Agarwal said he did not rule out the possibility of selling shares. "All investors constantly evaluate options at different points in time, including sell off."

However, Raman Maroo of Shemaroo Films, declined to comment on the issue.

The speculation of the Indian partners pulling out of Sony began when Sony Corporation Chairman & CEO Howard Stringer came calling to Mumbai two months ago. He attended a dinner party, which was hosted by Anil Ambani.

However, an Anil Ambani group source said the speculation that it would buy out the Indian promoters in SET was "utter rubbish".

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