Zee-Sony merger in final stages: Puneet

Zee-Sony merger in final stages: Puneet

Merger talks between Zee Entertainment Enterprises and Sony Pictures are in the final stages, said Puneet Goenka, MD and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises at an event in Delhi on Tuesday.

The two companies had in September announced the merger of their Indian businesses, with Sony holding a majority stake.

“I certainly believe that the consolidation will benefit the industry as a whole. Zee and Sony will become the largest media entertainment players in the country. Our revenue on a standalone basis will be close to $2 billion, and Sony will have capital growth.” Goenka “The investment in the merged entity will really give us an opportunity to invest in premium content, including sports,” he said at the APOS India Summit.

According to the non-binding agreement signed in September, about 53% of the merged entity will be held by Sony and the rest with holders of Zee.

The new shareholder will inject capital so that it will have a fund of approximately $1.58 billion upon closing and will nominate a majority of Sony’s board.

India’s largest publicly traded entertainment network has been at the center of a complicated boardroom and courtroom dispute between Goenka and his supporters versus Atlanta-based Invesco Developing Markets Fund, the largest shareholder of Zee with an 18% stake.

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