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'Baseless, factually incorrect': Zee on reports of Sony calling off merger

'Zee is committed to the merger with Sony,' said the company in a BSE filing on Tuesday

Incidentally, all three channels belong to the Zee network

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Sony-Zee merger: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) on Tuesday issued a clarification and called news of the Zee-Sony merger termination baseless and factually incorrect.

"Zee is committed to the merger with Sony and is continuing to work towards a successful closure of the proposed merger," the company said in an exchange filing on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, reports said that Sony Group Corp was on the verge of calling off its proposed $10 billion merger between its India operations and ZEEL.

The said merger was first announced two years ago in an attempt to build India's largest broadcast corporation.

The failure to comply with what are known as conditions precedents (CP) in legalese has added to the simmering discontent between the suitors, who have so far been unable to agree on ZEEL MD Punit Goenka being the CEO of the merged entity until he is cleared of charges that he siphoned off money from the publicly-traded firm to closely held companies owned by his family's Essel Group.

In June, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) charged Goenka and Zee Group Chairman Subhash Chandra with misappropriating company funds. However, Goenka's ban on holding board posts in Zee Group entities was lifted by the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) in October.

The combined was to own over 70 television channels, two video streaming services (ZEE5 and Sony LIV), and two film studios (Zee Studios and Sony Pictures Films India), making it India's largest entertainment network. The companies inked a comprehensive merger agreement in December 2021.

At 1:52 pm, ZEEL stock was trading at 6.65 per cent in the red at Rs 259 on BSE.

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First Published: Jan 09 2024 | 1:55 PM IST

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