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Updated December 17th, 2023 at 21:08 IST

Zee Entertainment seeks extension of merger deadline with Sony Group's Indian arm

Zee Entertainment seeks merger deadline extension with Sony India for scheme effectiveness.

Business Desk
Zee-Sony merger
Zee-Sony merger | Image:Republic

Zee Entertainment Enterprises has officially requested an extension of the merger deadline with the Indian division of Sony Group, according to a stock exchange filing on Sunday. The extension is sought to ensure the effectiveness of the merger scheme. In a separate filing on Saturday, Zee Entertainment revealed that the reappointment of independent board directors Vivek Mehra and Sasha Mirchandani did not secure the necessary votes ahead of the December 21 deadline for the merger's completion.

The reappointment of these directors was closely monitored as it could have influenced the selection of the new merged entity's leader. The merger, initially announced two years ago with the aim of creating a $10 billion media and entertainment powerhouse, has faced delays due to regulatory and other uncertainties. Additionally, conflicts have arisen between the two companies regarding the choice of the top executive for the merged entity.

Sony has advocated for NP Singh, the managing director of its Indian operations, to lead the merged company, while Zee's candidate, Punit Goenka, was under investigation. A report in November suggested that Sony was pushing for Singh due to Goenka's past investigation related to allegations by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in June. The SEBI had accused Goenka and Zee Group Chairperson Subhash Chandra of actively diverting company funds. Although an Indian tribunal lifted the ban on Goenka holding board positions in Zee Group companies in October, he is required to cooperate with any investigation by India's markets watchdog. Both Goenka and Chandra have denied any wrongdoing.

(With Reuters Inputs)

Published December 17th, 2023 at 21:08 IST

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