ZEE-Sony proposed merger gets approval from stock exchanges
ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) today received an approval from the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) for its proposed merger with Culver Max Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt Ltd).
The approval from the stock exchanges marks a firm and positive step in the overall merger approval process. The approvals permit the Company to proceed with the next steps in the overall merger process.
The Composite Scheme of Arrangement remains subject to applicable regulatory and other approvals.
The news of the merger of Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) around a year back had created ripples across the country’s M&E industry. Industry experts see this merger creating a media behemoth with deep pockets and a win-win for the broadcast as well as digital space in India.
The merger will see both companies combine their linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries. The combined entity will own 75 TV channels cutting across genres such as movies, music, GEC, sports, infotainment, kids, etc. It is estimated that this will be about 25-30% of the overall television viewership in the country.
In an earlier interaction with Adgully, Karan Taurani, Senior Vice-President, Elara Capital Ltd, had remarked, “If the merger goes through, ZEE’s market cap will move to around Rs 45,000 crore, while the total market cap (including Sony - combined entity) will be around Rs 95,000 crore.”
Ravishu Shah, Managing Director & Co-Head Valuation, RBSA Advisors, had told Adgully that “the merger is expected to provide strategic synergies and the cash balance of ~$1.57 billion of SPNI will provide growth impetus to the merged entity”.
In December 2021 it was announced that Punit Goenka will lead the combined company as its Managing Director & CEO. The majority of the board of directors of the combined company will be nominated by the Sony Group and will include the current SPNI Managing Director and CEO, NP Singh. On closing, Singh will assume a broader executive position at SPE as Chairman, Sony Pictures India (a division of SPE) reporting to Ravi Ahuja, SPE’s Chairman of Global Television Studios and SPE Corporate Development.