Zee Entertainment has signed a merger deal with Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited, the company said in an exchange filing. According to the deal, Sony Pictures Entertainment will infuse USD 1.575 billion in the merged entity.
“The Board of Directors of ZEEL at its meeting held on September 22, 2021, has approved the execution of a non-binding term sheet (“Termsheet”) with Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited (“Sony India”), in relation to a potential transaction involving a composite scheme of arrangement for the merger of the Company and Sony India and infusion of growth capital by the promoters of Sony India into Sony India as part of the merger,” ZEE said.
Post the merger, 47.07 percent stake will be held by shareholders of Zee Entertainment, while Sony Pictures Networks will hold a 52.93 percent stake in the merged entity.
The company said that Punit Goenka will be MD & CEO of the merged company for 5 years.
The announcement comes a week after Zee Entertainment witnessed shareholder activism that saw an open call for the ouster of promoters and the incumbent management led by Punit Goenka.
Proxy advisory firm Ingovern had also raised concern over the role of the audit committee headed by Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment after its large investors — Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund — had called his removal.
Goenka was appointed a member of the audit committee from March 17, 2021, replacing Kurien and Chokhani.
It is strange that the board allowed such induction of a promoter executive director into the audit committee, said Ingovern in a note on September 14.
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