Delhi High Court stays stake sale by Amar Ujala promoters

The Zee Group has obtained a stay order from the Delhi High Court on any probable sale of stake by the promoters in Amar Ujala Publications Ltd (AUPL), the company that publishes Hindi newspaper Amar Ujala. The Zee Group had filed an application in the Delhi High Court on November 7 in which it alleged that one of the AUPL's promoters had signed a MoU on November 4 to sell Amar Ujala to the company but later reneged on the commitment.

The stay granted by the court has set back AUPL's plan to get a strategic partner on board. AUPL needs to pay off DE Shaw for its 18 per cent stake in the company as per an agreement reached between the two parties in the Supreme Court recently. DE Shaw has been seeking an exit from the company for at least the past two years. The equity firm wanted AUPL promoters to either list the company or sell it. Recently, the Supreme Court directed AUPL to pay off DE Shaw a mutually agreed upon sum by this year-end. AUPL promoters have since been exploring ways to raise the amount. An email sent to Zee executives did not elicit a response.

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