Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) released a statement addressing ZEE’s recent request for an extension of the December 21, 2023 deadline for their proposed merger. SPNI highlighted that ZEE’s notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India, dated December 17, acknowledges their inability to meet the impending merger deadline.
The notification activates an existing contractual provision, allowing both parties to explore the potential of extending the deadline. However, SPNI clarified that they haven’t yet agreed to an extension, stating their obligation to initiate discussions for such an extension.
While SPNI anticipates ZEE’s proposals regarding the pending closing conditions, there were no immediate comments available from ZEEL on this matter.
Previously, on December 17, ZEEL had officially sought an extension for the December 21 deadline concerning its merger with Culver Max Entertainment (CMEPL), previously known as Sony Pictures Networks India. ZEEL initiated the request for an extension from Culver Max and Bangla Entertainment Pvt Ltd (BEPL) to finalize the proposed merger, aiming to establish India’s largest media conglomerate.
CMEPL, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation (SGC), and BEPL, another indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of SGC and part of the SGC Group, are involved in the merger. The substantial $10-billion merger, receiving approvals from regulatory bodies like the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the NSE, BSE, as well as the company’s shareholders and creditors, has been in the pipeline.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai had previously granted consent to the merger of ZEEL and Culver Max Entertainment in August. According to the initial agreement, Punit Goenka, ZEEL MD & CEO, was set to lead the merged entity. However, recent reports suggest that CMEPL is contemplating the inclusion of its Sony Pictures Network head, N P Singh, in the leadership role.