The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the Zee-Sony merger on August 10, 2023, despite objections from various creditors.
The much-anticipated merger between Sony Group Corp's India unit and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) is expected to conclude in November, as reported by The Economic Times. The merger, which was announced in December 2021, has been one of the most prominent deals in the Indian media industry. It is set to bring together over 70 TV channels, two video streaming services (Zee5 and SonyLiv), and two film studios (Zee Studios and Sony Pictures Films India).
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the Zee-Sony merger on August 10, 2023, despite objections from various creditors. Financial institutions and lenders, including Axis Finance, IDBI Trusteeship, and JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction Co, had raised concerns about the merger. However, the NCLAT refused to issue a notice in the appeals filed by Axis Finance and IDBI Bank challenging the NCLT's approval of the merger.
Although the merger was initially expected to be finalised by the end of September, it faced delays due to several clauses that needed to be addressed. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has been actively working on the integration process to ensure that the merger proceeds smoothly. A senior official stated, "Our aim is to finish the merger by early November. The teams on both sides are working incredibly hard to finish the merger-related formalities."
In addition, it was previously reported that Sony's global entertainment unit had begun preliminary talks with Walt Disney Co. about the potential acquisition of its India business. This contingency plan was considered due to the ongoing merger agreement's extended duration. However, experts believe that the merger with Disney could face its own set of challenges, including regulatory approvals.
In conclusion, the merger between Sony and Zee Entertainment is on track to be finalised in November. As the integration process continues, the industry anticipates the creation of a media powerhouse that will offer an extensive array of content and services to consumers.
Also, shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises have reflected positive investor sentiment, rising by 1.84% to trade at Rs 260.25 as of 10:40 AM. This increase in share price suggests optimism about the merger's prospects.