Sony-Zee-Sony merger will take a few more months, says Sony

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Sony-Zee-Sony merger will take a few more months, says Sony

Sony has said the integration of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. and Culver Max Entertainment, which is Sony Pictures Networks India, will take a few more months. The awaited Zee-Sony merger was expected to be completed by the end of September.

The deal between Zee Sony and National Company Law Tribunal was approved on August 10th, dismissing concerns from various creditors to Zee. Axis Finance, IDBI Trusteeship, IDBI Bank, Axis Finance, JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction Co and Imax Corp had raised concerns regarding the merger.

One of the key conditions of the Zee-Sony merger is that Punit Goenka would continue as the MD and CEO of the merged company.

The proposed merger, announced in December 2021, will bring together more than 70 TV channels, two video streaming services and two film studios.

In August 2023, the Bombay High Court dismissed a request filed by Axis Finance to implead Zee, Essel Mauritius, and Sony in its commercial summary suit against ZEEL promoter Subhash Chandra Goenka and others. The Tata group was seeking to recover Rs 146 crore from Subhash Chandra Goenka.

Earlier this month, Karan Taurani, senior vice president of research at brokerage Elara Capital, said the Zee-Sony merger could see the light of day by December.

Taurani said the decision was made by the Supreme Court to release the unidentified ministerial documents.

For every 100 shares held in ZEEL, the shareholders would get 85 shares of the merged company. After the exchange procedure, the stock of ZEEL will be delisted and relisted as the merged company.

FTSE said yesterday that Sony will immediately replace Zee Entertainment in all FTSE indices.

Zee has been grappling with legal hurdles surrounding the proposed merger. On September 14 Axis Finance Ltd filed a motion to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal against NCLT's order approving the deal.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd said it has served with an appeal against the Company before the NCLAT, Delhi, challenging the order dated August 10, 2023, passed by NCLT, Mumbai Bench, in a stock exchange filing.

IDBI Bank had earlier moved NCLAT to challenges the NCLT's approval for the Sony-Zee merger. On September 6, ZEEL said the company had been served with an appeal on behalf of IDBI Bank before the NCLAT.

Both the media giants appealed to the court for sanctioning the split after obtaining permissions from the National Stock Exchange, BSE and sectoral regulators like the Competition Commission of India and the SEC.

In June, Sebi ordered Chandra and Goenka from holding any board or key management position in ZEEL, its subsidiaries or any company resulting from a merger with these companies.

Sebi alleges that the duo helped the company move funds out of ZEEL and routed them back to the company through layered and circuitous transactions.

The regulatory panel accused Chandra and Goenka of 'abused their positions' for personal financial gains. The Mumbai-based media house was the first to announce the recoveries of loans to cover private financing deals by its founder Chandra.

At the SAT, Goenka and Chandra appealed against this order, but the tribunal refused to stay the same. The father-son duo was directed by SAT to file a reply/objection along with an application to vacate the stay given in the interim order.

On 27 September, SAT reserved the appeal made by Chandra and Goenka challenging the Sebi order.

Shares of MCX fell 9% after SEBI delayed the launch of new technology platform.