Zee-Sony India merger talks hit by leadership disagreement
The failure to reach a consensus on leadership by December 21 could jeopardise the merger, reported an Indian news report.
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THE proposed merger between Zee Entertainment Enterprises of India and the Indian arm of Japan’s Sony has hit a roadblock, according to India’s Mint business daily. The main point of contention is the leadership of the merged entity, with Sony advocating for its Indian operations managing director NP Singh, as Zee’s candidate, Punit Goenka, is under an ongoing investigation, the report said, citing sources.
Although an Indian tribunal recently lifted a ban on Goenka holding board positions in Zee Group firms, it said that he must still cooperate with any investigation by India’s markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
SEBI had previously accused Goenka and Zee Group chairman Subhash Chandra of actively diverting company funds, allegations both individuals deny.
The failure to reach a consensus on leadership by December 21 could jeopardise the merger, as reported by Mint.
In September, Sony had announced a delay in the merger, anticipating completion “within the next few months.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported last month that Disney was nearing a deal to sell its India operations to Reliance Industries, adding further complexity to the competitive landscape in the Indian media and entertainment sector.