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

Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. will own a 50.86% stake in the merged entity while Zee’s current holding firm Essel will own 3.99%. Public shareholders will have the remaining 45.15% as part of the definitive agreement. Punit Goenka will continue to be the Managing Director and CEO of the merged entity.

The closing of the transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including regulatory, shareholder, and third-party approvals. The new combined entity will be publicly listed in India.

In September, Zee had announced that its board had unanimously provided an in-principle approval for the merger with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI).

SPNI will have a cash balance of $1.5 billion at deal close, including through an infusion by current shareholders of SPNI and the promoters of Zee, the companies said.

The deal will also likely ease the pressure that Zee was facing from top shareholders who called for a management reshuffle in September, including for the removal of CEO Punit Goenka from the board, amid corporate governance concerns.

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