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EAP Group sale of Swarnavihini TV to Foreign Business Concerns Rattles Colombo Business Sector.

Colombo, Feb. 23 -- Sri Lanka's EAP Group of Companies, which is in financial trouble, is being negotiated to be sold -to a foreign buyer.

The Sinhalese language news media rports that pending sale has rattled the business sector in Colombo.

The Reports further reveal that -

Despite its financial troubles, EAP Group owns many large scale business assets including the island-wide Sinhala language TV Channel "Swarnavahini", Swarnamahal Financial Services, EAP Theatres and cinemas, Sapphire Hotel (Colombo 6), and Swarnamahal Jeweleries Ltd.

Assets of the EAP Group is vested under the supervision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The bid for EAP group is reportedly in $ 60 Million range. The Singapore based Straits Grid Ltd owned by Sudheer Jayaram is the bidder.

He is reportedly backed by the British firm Lyca Group, owned by Lankan born Aliraja Subaaskaran.

Earlier, Sri Lanka's Laugfs Co, run by its owner KH Wegapitiya has submitted a bid but had not heard back.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan firm Shree Krishna Co Ltd has now made a bid for EAP Group, at $ 61 Million.

The Sri Lankan firm has informed the Central Bank that its bid process is transparent. The Central Bank has also been informed by the firm that the foreign bid is not from a "firm" but by an individual and therefore Shree Krishna Co Ltd's bid is proper, and Shree Krishna now expects to sign the agreement with the Central Bank.

Meanwhile the Central Bank has informed Shree Krishna that the foreign bidder has already started its purchase and even gave a credit-line of Rs 400 Million to EAP.

Local media firms meanwhile have reported that they are watching the situation closely since "some local TV and Radio frequencies are likely to be transferred to a foreign ownership" in this EAP sale.

Also, Sri Lankan laws limit the foreign ownership of local media to a maximum of 40%.

This statement by Shree Krishna Co. has rattled the local business sector.

Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Asian Tribune.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Feb 23, 2018
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