Sony: “Zee merger will take more time”
October 2, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Sony Group has said that the completion of the India merger between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) and Culver Max Entertainment, which is Sony Pictures Networks India, will take a few more months. The much-awaited merger was previously expected by the end of September.
The Zee/Sony merger was approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on August 10th, dismissing objections from various creditors to Zee. Several lenders of ZEEL, including IDBI Trusteeship, IDBI Bank, Axis Finance, JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction Co and Imax Corp, had raised objections around the merger.
One of the key conditions of the merger is that Zee’s MD Punit Goenka would continue as the MD and CEO of the merged entity.
The merger, which was first announced in December 2021, will bring together over 70 TV channels, two video streaming services (Zee5 and SonyLiv) and two film studios (Zee Studios and Sony Pictures Films India).
In September, Karan Taurani, SVP/research at brokerage Elara Capital, said the proposed Zee-Sony merger may see the light of day by December.
“The record date for a merger is usually given one week prior to delisting. However, there could be a marginal delay in filing closing precedents (CPs) of the merged entity. Subsequently, relisting may happen in the second week of December 2023 versus the second week of November,” Taurani said.