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India arbitrator demands response from Sony

February 8, 2024

By Chris Forrester

The Zee-Sony merger cancellation dispute rumbles on. India’s National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) issued a formal notice to Culver Max (formerly Sony Pictures Networks) on February 6th and has asked for a response in two weeks.

The NCLT move comes in response to an application filed by Zee Entertainment Enterprises. Zee’s application, in essence, wants the planned $10 billion merger with Sony to be reinstated.

The tribunal has scheduled the hearing on this matter for March 12th.

Senior lawyer Darius Khambata, representing Sony, has told the tribunal that Sony was already in the midst of preparing an application to contest the maintainability of Zee’s move.

According to local reports, if the NCLT determines that the merger between Zee and Sony was not conditional or that any conditions were indeed met, this could lead to a series of outcomes. Those potential outcomes, contingent on NCLT’s findings, include restoring the original merger plan, emergency arbitration in Singapore, adherence to upcoming NCLT directives, shareholder engagement, and additional regulatory approvals.

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