Sony-Zee merger at risk again
November 30, 2023
By Chris Forrester
The on-off merger between tow Indian entertainment giant, Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) and Sony Corp’s India production and broadcasting divisions is again at risk of collapsing.
Local reports say that time is running out to conclude the agreement which – if successful – will create a $10 billion media giant.
There are many unresolved issues, not least who will be the CEO at the combined business. One report says that Sony is expected to formally tell ZEEL that the pre-agreed demands for the merger cannot be met.
This letter could scupper the deal since there won’t be enough time to tie all the loose ends by the formal December 21st deadline. Sony is said to be unwilling to extend the deadline.
The core agreement stipulated that ZEE’s CEO Punit Goenka would run the business, but Indian regulators are extremely cold on the appointment.
The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is also concerned over ZEE’s private financing deals involved alleged faking of loan recoveries and made by ZEE founder Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka who allegedly “abused their positions” and allegedly misdirected funds.