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Sony India “monitoring developments” in Zee merger

June 22, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Sony’s Indian subsidiary remains firmly committed to the long-awaited merger with Zee Entertainment notwithstanding the challenges of regulators and court interventions on two directors of Zee.

Sony Pictures Entertainment, in its first official statement on the problems with Zee, said it takes seriously the ban on the two directors (Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka) and would continue to monitor the situation.

India’s Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has levied a one-year ban against Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra and CEO Punit Goenka, and alleging the two had been actively involved in diverting company funds to the group’s related entities.

“There have been several erroneous press reports speculating about the future of ZEE’s planned merger with SPNI [Sony Pictures Networks India] following SEBI’s interim order against Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka,” a spokesperson from Sony Pictures Entertainment said. “We take very seriously the SEBI interim order and will continue to monitor developments that may affect the deal”.

The merger was first announced back in 2021.

Chandra and Goenka are in the process of challenging the ban at an Indian appeals tribunal, which is yet to rule on the case. SEBI is arguing the appeals should be dismissed “and no relief must be granted in the interest of the securities market.”

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