Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) announced on Friday that it has received approval from the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) for its proposed merger with Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited (formerly Sony Pictures Networks India). This approval is an important step in the overall merger process, allowing ZEEL to move forward with the next steps. However, the composite scheme of arrangement still needs to obtain regulatory and other approvals. Last December, ZEEL and Sony Pictures Networks India signed definitive agreements for the merger after a period of exclusive negotiation and mutual due diligence. Sony will invest USD 1.575 billion for a 52.93% stake in the merged entity, while Zee will hold the remaining 47.07%.
The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory, shareholder, and third-party approvals. After the merger is finalized, the combined company will be publicly listed in India. As part of the agreement, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc will pay a non-compete fee to certain promoter founders of ZEEL, which will be used to infuse primary equity capital into Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited. ZEEL’s CEO Punit Goenka will lead the combined company as its Managing Director & CEO, and the majority of the board of directors will be nominated by the Sony Group.