Zee Entertainment Seeks to Revive $10 Billion Merger With Sony: Report

India’s Zee Entertainment is making a final attempt to restart discussions with Japan’s Sony Group to revive their $10 billion (roughly Rs. 83,098 crore) merger deal which was scrapped on January 22, Indian business daily Economic Times reported on Tuesday, citing people aware of the matter.

Representatives from both parties have been working to salvage the deal, with efforts to revive the merger gaining momentum over the past two weeks, the report added.

However, there is a chance that the discussions might fail as significant differences remain unresolved and both sides are standing firm on their positions, it said.

Zee and Sony did not immediately reply to Reuters’ request for comments.

Sony terminated the merger with Zee due to certain unresolved “closing conditions” and leadership disputes, including disagreements over CEO Punit Goenka’s involvement in regulatory issues.

Zee is expected to notify Sony within the next 24-48 hours regarding its willingness to accept all terms and conditions and proceed with the merger, the newspaper said.

If not, Sony is expected to withdraw its original merger application with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) by the end of this week, as agreed upon when the merger was initially proposed.

The Zee-Sony merger, in the works for two years, would have created an Indian television juggernaut with more than 90 channels across sports, entertainment and news that would have competed with the likes of Walt Disney, and billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries.

Shares of Zee rose 5.2 percent in early trading on Tuesday.

© Thomson Reuters 2024

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