Zee Reportedly Tries to Revive Merger Talks with Sony

On Tuesday, sources said that Zee Entertainment is making a last attempt to revive talks with Sony Group for their $10B merger agreement from January 22.

Zee Entertainment stocks surged by 10.00% to ₹196.50 per share, while Sony closed the session declining by 3.44% to $88.83 apiece.

According to reports, both parties have been working hard to restore the deal, with efforts to revive the merger acceleration over the past two weeks.

However, the negotiations may break down, given that substantial differences persist without resolution and both parties are unwavering in their stances.

Zee and Sony did not give comments on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Japan-based firm terminated the merger with Zee, citing unresolved closing conditions and leadership conflicts, which included disputes over CEO Punit Goenka’s role in regulatory matters.

According to a report, the India-based entertainment company is anticipated to inform Sony within 24-48 hours of its readiness to agree to all terms and conditions and move forward with the merger.

Alternatively, if this does not transpire, the tech giant is expected to retract its initial merger application with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) by the end of the week, according to the terms established and submitted during the original merger.

The two-year effort to merge Zee and Sony aims to form an Indian television powerhouse with 90+ channels, rivaling Disney and Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries.


Sony-Zee Merger Halts $300M Cricket Rights Write-off Dispute

The primary obstacle revolves around a $300 million cricket rights write-off as Sony seeks immediate payment, while Zee favors a deferred approach.

Ongoing leadership conflicts persist, with reports suggesting Goenka gives up his top position aspirations for an advisory role. However, Sony insists on his exclusion from the central structure.

Adding further intricacy, Zee insists on a legally binding deal, causing Sony to be cautious about potential unpredictable financial shifts.

Meanwhile, both firms have escalated their disputes to legal forums such as the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SAIC) and the NCLT.

Through Mad Man Film Ventures, the India-based company appealed to the NCLT for intervention to enforce the merger. Simultaneously, Sony, through its Indian units, contested the viability of Zee’s application and aimed to thwart its execution.

Furthermore, the Japan-based firm requested urgent interim relief from the SIAC against Zee, but the request was rejected.

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