The Sony Group board is set to convene a meeting on Friday (19 January) to decide the future of the $10 billion merger deal with Zee Entertainment.
The merger, initially announced two years ago, has encountered multiple hurdles, including leadership disputes and unresolved issues.
As reported earlier, Sony was said to be uncomfortable with Punit Goenka leading the merged entity amid an ongoing regulatory probe.
Meanwhile, Sony was advocating for its Indian operations managing director, N P Singh, to be the top executive.
This led to speculations surrounding the cancellation of the proposed merger.
However, post the adverse media reactions Zee Entertainment refuted such speculations of cancelling the $10 billion merger with Sony Pictures' India division.
As reported by Business Standard, Goenka has recently offered to step down post-merger, leading to a seven per cent rally in Zee Entertainment shares.
However, Zee has not yet agreed to Singh's appointment. The merger, expected to be completed by 20 December 2023, faces a one-month grace period, set to expire on 20 January.
If successful, the merger will create India's fourth-largest media company, with Sony holding a 53 per cent stake and committing $1.6 billion for expansion.
The proposed merger aims to create a 74-channel powerhouse, providing the Japanese group with a sizable market share in India.
It's also important to note that Zee's net profit has seen a decline since the merger announcement, dropping to Rs 48 crore in FY23 from Rs 956 crore in FY22 and Rs 793 crore in FY21.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!