New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) Subhash Chandra-promoted two Essel group companies Zee Entertainment Enterprise and Dish TV on Sunday denied links with Nityank lnfrapower and Multiventures Ltd, a company being probed by the SFIO for suspicious demonetisation deposits, as claimed in a media report.

Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL), in a regulatory filing, said Nityank lnfrapower and Multiventures Ltd is an “independent company and does not belong to Essel Group”.

It further said that involvement of Essel Group entities in the the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) investigation against Nityank is being done only with “malicious intent” and “legal action as advised” is being initiated in this regard.

“At the outset, we wish to reiterate and confirm that Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd has no connection whatsoever with any alleged transaction(s) contained in the article published by a website,” said ZEEL.

Over allegations of involvement of other Essel Group entities in the media report, the filing said that all “queries relating to demonetisation, if any, from SFIO were directed to Nityank”.

The Essel group entities have already provided other information sought by the SFIO and no further information is sought from them.

“In view of above, since all information sought by SFIO has been provided by Essel Group entities and no further information has been subsequently sought, the matter stands closed for Essel Group entities,” said ZEEL.

While its DTH arm Dish TV has also denied any transaction with Nityank in its scheme of merger of Videocon D2h with the company.

“In response to communication received by the Company in July 2018 from SFIO, seeking information relating to Nityank Infra power and Multiventures Ltd (Nityank), while providing requisite information/replies including relating to Scheme of Arrangement for Amalgamation of Videocon D2h Limited with and into Dish TV India Ltd, the company had categorically denied having had any transaction with Nityank,” it said.

On January 25, shares of ZEE group companies had come under massive selling pressure, plummeting up to 33 per cent, and suffered a combined erosion of Rs 13,352 crore in market valuation.

Later, Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra apologised to lenders and said his company is in a financial mess and blamed the same for the aggressive bets on infra, which has gone out of control since the IL&FS crisis and also the acquisition of Videocon’s D2H business.

Chandra also alleged that some negative forces are out to sabotage his efforts to raise money through a strategic sale in the flagship company Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.