Zee Entertainment, Sony Pictures announce merger, Punit Goenka to continue as MD & CEO of new entity


NEW DELHI: The Board of Zee Entertainment has principally approved the merger between Zee Entertainment and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) after several months of hectic deliberations.

According to the deal, Sony Pictures Entertainment will infuse USD 1.575 billion in the merged entity.  Punit Goenka will continue as MD & CEO of the merged entity. 

While giving its in-principal nod to the deal, the ZEE Board said that it evaluated not only on financial parameters, but also on the strategic value which the partner brings to the table.

The Board concluded that the “merger will be in the best interest of all the shareholders and stakeholders and it is in line with ZEEL’s strategy of achieving higher growth and profitability as a leading Media & Entertainment Company across South Asia.”

Post-merger between Zee Entertainment and Sony Pictures Networks India, 47.07% stake will be held by shareholders of Zee Entertainment, while Sony Pictures Networks will hold a 52.93% stake in the merged entity. The merged entity will be a publicly listed company.

Both companies have agreed to combine linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries as part of the deal.

ZEEL & SPNI have entered into an exclusive non-binding term sheet. Both the companies will conduct a due diligence process over the next 90 days. 
Meanwhile, the existing promoter family of Zee will have the option to increase shareholding from the current 4% to up to 20% in the normal course of business, the deal mentioned.

The majority of the Board of Directors of the merged entity will be nominated by Sony Group, as per the deal.

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