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Business News/ Companies / News/  ‘Factually incorrect’: Zee Ent denies reports on reviving Sony-Zee merger talks
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‘Factually incorrect’: Zee Ent denies reports on reviving Sony-Zee merger talks

In a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges, Zee Entertainment has stated that the company is not involved in any negotiations on the Sony merger deal and that reports suggesting a revival of talks are ‘factually incorrect’.

Zee Entertainment and SONY logos are displayed in this illustration. (REUTERS)Premium
Zee Entertainment and SONY logos are displayed in this illustration. (REUTERS)

Zee Entertainment on Tuesday, February 20, issued a clarification, denying reports of restarting discussions with the Sony group to revive their $10 billion merger deal that was scrapped on January 22. In a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges, Zee Entertainment stated that the company is not involved in any negotiations on the Sony merger deal and that reports suggesting a revival of talks are ‘factually incorrect’.

‘’We would like to clarify that the company has not involved in any negotiations, or any other event as stated in the above-mentioned article, and we categorically confirm that the abovementioned news item is factually incorrect,'' said Zee Entertainment in its exchange filing.

Also Read: Sony-Zee deal fallout: Emails reveal clash over Russia assets, cricket deal

A report by business daily The Economic Times published earlier today said that representatives from both parties have been working to salvage the deal, with efforts to revive the merger gaining momentum over the past two weeks. Shares of Zee Entertainment zoomed 10 per cent to hit an intra-day high of 199.85 apiece on the BSE after the report.

‘’We wish to clarify that the company is not aware of any information that has not been announced to the exchanges which could explain the aforesaid movement in the trading, and we are not in a position to determine the material impact of the above-mentioned article on the company,'' explained Zee Entertainment in its exchange filing.

Sony terminated the merger with Zee due to certain unresolved "closing conditions" and leadership disputes, including disagreements over CEO Punit Goenka's involvement in regulatory issues.

Sony alleged that Zee failed to satisfy merger conditions and also initiated arbitration proceedings before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) around 748.5 crore as a termination fee.

Zee filed a petition before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), seeking a direction for Sony Group to implement the merger. Zee also initiated legal actions to contest the claims of 748.5 crore filed by Sony Group. 

Zee is expected to notify Sony within the next 24-48 hours regarding its willingness to accept all terms and conditions and proceed with the merger, said the ET report. If not, Sony is expected to withdraw its original merger application with the NCLT by the end of this week.

If the Sony-Zee merger was completed, the combined entity would have owned over 70 TV channels, two video streaming services -- ZEE5 and Sony LIV -- and two film studios -- Zee Studios and Sony Pictures Films India -- making it the largest entertainment network in the country.

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Published: 20 Feb 2024, 06:59 PM IST
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