Highlights

  • The termination letter was issued following the conclusion of a 30-day grace period
  • The breakdown of the deal was attributed to the failure of the media giants to agree on leadership

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Sony-Zee merger called off: Sony ends talks with Zee due to dispute over leadership of merged entity

This development follows a pause in discussions back in November, marked by Sony's insistence that their executive take the helm of the merged company in lieu of Goenka. The deadline was prolonged by a month still the disparities continued

Sony-Zee merger called off: Sony ends talks with Zee due to dispute over leadership of merged entity

In a recent development, Sony Group Corp of Japan has officially terminated the proposed merger with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), as confirmed in a statement released by Sony. The termination notice was dispatched to Zee early on Monday.

The decision to call off the merger stems from the failure to meet the closing conditions within the stipulated time frame. Sony explained, "The Merger did not close by the End Date as, among other things, the closing conditions to the Merger were not satisfied by then." Sony Pictures Networks India Private Ltd (SPNI), Sony's India unit, had engaged in discussions to extend the End Date in good faith, but an agreement was not reached before the expiration of the Discussion Period.

According to Sony, the definitive agreements outlined provisions for discussing an extension of the End Date if the merger did not close within twenty-four months from the signature date. The termination letter was issued following the conclusion of a 30-day grace period, during which the two parties could not reach a consensus on the deadline set in late December.

Reports on January 19 had hinted at Sony's intention to abandon the $10-billion merger after more than two years of negotiations. The breakdown of the deal was attributed to the failure of the media giants to agree on leadership for the combined entity. Sony was reportedly disinclined to have Zee's Punit Goenka lead the entity.

This move comes after the talks stalled in November when Sony insisted that its executive lead the merged company instead of Goenka. The deadline was extended by a month, but the differences between the two companies persisted. A source familiar with the developments stated, "After two years and multiple meetings and late-night calls, there is absolutely no meeting of minds anymore in this proposed merger." Sony's stance on Goenka's potential role due to an ongoing investigation further contributed to the breakdown of negotiations.

In response, Zee Entertainment announced its intention to pursue legal action against Sony Group, as reported by Reuters.

Also Watch: Sony may call off $10 billion merger with Zee amid leadership conflict: Report


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