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The merger of Zee and Sony has been approved, Punit Goenka will be the new CEO

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) will own about 51% of the newly consolidated firm, which will be listed on the Stock exchange

The merger of Zee and Sony has been approved, Punit Goenka will be the new CEO
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According to a regulatory filing by Zee Entertainment to the stock markets on Wednesday, December 22, the board of directors of Zee Entertainment approved the merger between Sony Pictures Networks India and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL).

Sony will own a controlling position in the amalgamated company, with a stake of 50.86 percent. ZEE Entertainment's promoters will own 3.99 percent, while other ZEE stockholders would own 45.15 percent of the company, which is expected to become one of the country's top entertainment networks.

The agreement involves the combining of the two rival channels' television channels, film assets, and streaming platforms. Popular channels including Sony MAX and Zee TV, as well as streaming portals ZEE5 and SonyLIV, will be part of the new entity.

Mr Punit Goenka will remain the amalgamated entity's Managing Director (MD) and CEO. The Sony Group will nominate the majority of the combined company's board of directors, which will include Mr. N.P. Singh, the existing SPNI Managing Director and CEO.

".....two leading media and entertainment companies join hands to drive the next era of entertainment filled with immense opportunities. The combined company will create a comprehensive entertainment business, enabling us to serve our consumers with wider content choices across platforms,'' said Mr. Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises.

Sony will have a cash balance of $1.5 billion as a result of the signed definitive agreements, allowing the merged firm to focus on sharper content production across platforms, improve its digital footprint, bid for media rights in the sports scene, and seek other growth opportunities.

''The agreements follow the conclusion of an exclusive negotiation period during which ZEEL and SPNI conducted mutual due diligence. After closing, the new combined company will be publicly listed in India,'' said ZEE Entertainment in its regulatory filing today.

On September 22, the two companies announced their merger. During the deal's 90-day due diligence process, Zee's largest shareholder, Invesco, expressed reservations about the promoter group's potential stake increase to 20% in the proposed Zee-Sony merged firm.


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