"Sign From The Lord": Zee CEO, In Ayodhya, Posts On Sony Merger Breakdown

Japan's Sony Group Corp has sent a merger termination notice to Zee, along with a demand of $90 million for alleged breaches of the merger cooperation agreement by Mr Goenka's company

'Sign From The Lord': Zee CEO, In Ayodhya, Posts On Sony Merger Breakdown

Zee Entertainment MD and CEO Punit Goenka attends the Ram consecration in Ayodhya

New Delhi:

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) boss Punit Goenka today posted an update about a cataclysmic development in his company while attending the Ram temple consecration ceremony in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya.

Japan's Sony Group Corp has sent a merger termination notice to ZEEL, along with a demand of $90 million for alleged breaches of the merger cooperation agreement by Mr Goenka's company.

The ZEEL managing director and chief executive, who is among the high-profile guests invited at the pran prathistha ceremony, in a post on X alluded to the developments in his company as "a sign from the Lord".

"As I arrived at Ayodhya early this morning for the auspicious occasion of Pran Pratishtha, I received a message that the deal that I have spent two years envisioning and working towards had fallen through, despite my best and most honest efforts," Mr Goenka said.

"I believe this to be a sign from the Lord. I resolve to move ahead positively and work towards strengthening Bharat's pioneering M&E Company, for all its stakeholders. Jai Shri Ram," he said.

ZEEL held a board meeting today to take note of the merger termination notice sent by Japan's Sony Group Corp.

The Japanese firm cited unmet conditions of the merger agreement as the reason for the termination in a letter sent to ZEEL today. The merger, which was announced more than two years ago, hit an impasse over the leadership of the merged company, amid a market regulator probe into Mr Goenka.

"ZEEL categorically denies all the assertions raised by Culver Max and BEPL on the alleged breaches under the terms of the MCA, including their claims for the termination fee," ZEEL said in an exchange filing.

Culver Max Entertainment Pvt Ltd was earlier known as Sony Pictures Networks India, and BEPL is short for Bangla Entertainment Pvt Ltd.

"... ZEEL also held several deliberations and good faith negotiations with Culver Max and BEPL, with a view to consider an extension of the merger completion timeline, that did not materialise," ZEEL said.

ZEEL said Mr Goenka was agreeable to stepping down in the interest of the merger and proposals in this regard were discussed, including for appointment of a director on the board of the merged company, protections for conduct of pending investigations and legal proceedings in the best interest of ZEEL's directors and shareholders and the consequent modifications to the scheme to incorporate the same.

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