India's Zee Entertainment makes last-ditch attempt to salvage $10b merger with Sony

India's Zee Entertainment makes last-ditch attempt to salvage $10b merger with Sony

Zee Entertainment and SONY logos are displayed in this illustration taken, September 1, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

India’s Zee Entertainment is making a final attempt to restart discussions with Japan’s Sony Group to revive their $10 billion merger deal which was scrapped on Jan. 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 DIS.N, and billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries RELI.NS.

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

Reuters

Bring stories like this into your inbox every day.

Sign up for our newsletter - The Daily Brief
Subscribe to Newsletter

This is your last free story for the month. Register to continue reading our content