Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited announced a merger with Sony Pictures Network India. Sony will invest $1.57 billion in ZEEL to become the majority stakeholder with 52.93% controlling stakes. The rest 47.07% shares will be allocated to the previous shareholders on pro-rata basis.
Punit Goenka will continue as the CEO and Managing Director of the merged entity. Zee Entertainment is a big name in the Indian media and broadcasting industry with acclaimed brands such as ZeeTV, Zee News, and Zee5 under its vast product line.
Why ZEE needed this merger?
The past few days were tough for the media giant as its share price surged when Invesco Developing Market Funds called for an EGM to oust Punit. The US-based hedge funds held majority stake in Zee. Potential investors worried about possible management reshuffle and held back from buying the company’s shares. The company has also been in the news for tax evasion and other such corporate governance issues, which, institutional investors do not appreciate.
Zee Ltd. needed something to bounce back in the stock exchange. And what better than a merger with Sony India to accomplish that. Since the news of the merger came out, Zee has seen a 20% increase in the value of its shares. The market value of the company jumped to $4 billion.
What is in it for Sony?
Sony Group Corp India signed a non-binding agreement with ZEEL. Zee Entertainment Ltd. is the largest publicly traded television network of India. This will give Sony the opportunity to expand even more in the Indian market. Both the companies will combine their linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries.
Sony Pictures Network India, which is a major player in the Indian entertainment industry will get a chance to expand its business with the help of this merger.
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