Zee intends to conclude Sony merger
January 11, 2024
By Chris Forrester
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), in a regulatory filing, insists it is working to successfully complete its long-planned merger with Sony’s Indian channels and studios.
In its January 9th filing Zee described the widespread reports that the merger might not go through as being “baseless and factually incorrect.”
“The company has always complied with its obligations under the SEBI Regulations… and will continue to make disclosures in accordance with the same,” the filing stated.
However, Zee has missed a deadline to pay $200 million to Disney’s India unit for TV rights of ICC cricket matches. Zee didn’t pay the instalment due early in January admitting a cash crunch, say local reports. The payment was part of the more than $1.4 billion that Zee agreed to pay for the license agreement signed in August 2022.
According to investment house Elara Capital, the final outcome of negotiations and terms of the deal between ZEEL and Sony could come over the next few days and before January 21st.
“Zee has a cash balance of mere $74 million currently and may not pay the advance amount to Disney, until the final negotiations end with Sony. We don’t foresee that the delay of advance payment of above is due to the Zee/Sony merger not going through, as both parties continue talks/negotiations,” Elara said.