Zee, Sony merger gets regulatory approval
August 11, 2023
By Chris Forrester
India’s National Company Law Tribunal has given its approval to the merger between Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) and Sony’s India assets.
The Tribunal accepted concessions from Zee and Sony Pictures Networks/Culver Max Entertainment which would reduce some of the regulatory concerns. The Tribunal issued its order approving the merger on August 10th.
The merger between the two entertainment giants is said to be worth some $10 billion (€9.09bn).
There is still one remaining hurdle in the shape of The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) which has prohibited Subhash Chandra, chairman of Essel Group, and his son Punit Goenka from assuming directorial or major managerial positions due to alleged misuse of funds from Zee for personal gain, in an interim order dated June 12th 2023.
The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) upheld SEBI’s interim order, imposing a one-year restraint on Zee Entertainment promoters Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka from holding board positions in publicly listed companies, citing alleged fund diversion.
Punit Goenka, in a letter to Zee employees on July 17th, had said that the difficulties that he is currently facing are at the promoter family level, and those issues should not considered as problems of the company.