afaqs! news bureau

Zee and Sony to enter "good faith negotiations" on merger deadline extension

Zee, on December 17, 2023, had asked for an extension.

Zee, in a regulatory filing, said it and Sony will enter "good faith negotiations" to dicuss the extension of the merger deadline.

“The Company is now in receipt of a communication from CMEPL and BEPL that they will enter into good faith negotiations as required under the Merger Cooperation Agreement (MCA) entered amongst the Parties, the Company, CMEPL and BEPL, to discuss the extension of the date required to make the Scheme effective by a reasonable period of time,” read the exchange filing.

On December 17, 2023, Zee requested Bangla Entertainment Private Limited (BEPL) and Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited (formerly known as Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited) prolong the deadline stipulated in the merger cooperation agreement to make the merger scheme effective.

Karan Taurani, senior vice president, Elara Capital said: “Zee’s announcement largely aligns with our view that negotiations continue between both parties.

"We maintain our view that there is a high likelihood of the merger going through, as Zee too is equally keen to do the merger, just as Sony.

"We maintain our view that Mr Punit Goenka may not risk the merger being called off, at the helm of him becoming CEO; the merger not going through would work against his own, shareholder and industry’s interest at large.

"Zee’s willingness to negotiate with Sony in good faith is a very big respite for the merger, as it ensures cooperation between both parties.

"We believe regulatory approvals - ROC, MIB and relisting process will take 3-4 months once the extension is granted; expect merged co to be listed by Mar/April ’24.”

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