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Zee Entertainment approves merger with Sony Pictures Networks India December 23 2021Zee Entertainment and Sony merge

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Zee Entertainment approves merger with Sony Pictures Networks India

The board of directors of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, Bangla Entertainment & Pvt Ltd (BEPL), and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) Private Limited discussed and approved the Scheme of Arrangement between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, BEPL, and Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited at its meeting on December 21, 2021, the company announced on Wednesday.

Essel, Zee's present holding company, would own 3.99 percent of the combined firm, with Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. owning 50.86 percent. The remaining 45.15 percent will be distributed to public shareholders as part of the formal agreement. Punit Goenka, the merged company's Managing Director and CEO, will stay on. As part of the acquisition, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) would get control of prominent channels such as Sony MAX and Zee TV, as well as streaming services ZEE5 and SonyLIV.

Regulatory, shareholder, and third-party approvals, as well as other standard closing conditions, are all required for the transaction to close. In India, the new combined entity will be listed on the stock exchange.

In September, Zee stated that its board of directors had unanimously approved the merger with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI).

According to the firms, SPNI would have a cash balance of $1.5 billion when the acquisition closes, due to a financial infusion from current SPNI shareholders and Zee promoters.

The deal would also likely relieve the pressure Zee was under from senior shareholders in September, who demanded a management revamp, including the resignation of CEO Punit Goenka from the board of directors, due to corporate governance concerns

In recent years, streaming services such as Netflix Inc, Amazon.com Inc's Prime Video, and Walt Disney Co's Hotstar have increased competition in India, which still depends largely on direct-to-home television entertainment.

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