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ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd and Sony Pictures Networks India to merge

Posted On: 2021-09-22 08:53:46 (Time Zone: IST)


The Board of Directors of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) present and voting in its board meeting held on 21st September 2 021, unanimously provided an in-principle approval for the merger between Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) & ZEEL.

The Board has evaluated not only on financial parameters, but also on the strategic value which the partner brings to the table. The Board concluded that the merger will be in the best interest of all the shareholders & stakeholders. The merger is in line with ZEEL's strategy of achieving higher growth and profitability as a leading Media & Entertainment Company across South Asia. The Board has authorized the management of ZEEL to activate the required due diligence process.

The shareholders of SPNI, will hold a majority stake in the merged entity. The shareholders of SPNI will also infuse growth capital into SPNI as part of the merger such that SPNI has approximately USD1.575 billion at closing, for use in pursuing other growth opportunities.

Basis the existing estimated equity values of ZEEL and SPNI, the indicative merger ratio would have been 61.25% in favour ofZEEL. However, with the proposed infusion of growth capital into SPNI, the resultant merger ratio is expected to result in 47.07% of the merged entity to be held by ZEEL shareholders and the balance 52.93% of the merged entity to be held by SPNI shareholders.

ZEEL & SPNI have entered into a non-binding term sheet to combine both companies' linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries. The term sheet provides an exclusive period of 90 days during which ZEEL and SPNI will conduct mutual diligence and finalize definitive agreement(s). The merged entity will be a publicly listed company in India.

As part of the transaction, Mr. Punit Goenka will continue to be the Managing Director and CEO of the merged entity. Further, certain non-compete arrangements will be agreed upon between the promoters of ZEEL and the promoters of SPNI. According to the term sheet, the promoter family is free to increase its shareholding from the current - 4% to up to 20%, in a manner that is in accordance with applicable law. Majority of the Board of Directors of the merged entity will be nominated by Sony Group.

It is anticipated that the final transaction would be subject to completion of customary due diligence and execution of definitive agreements and required corporate, regulatory and thirdparty approvals, including the votes ofZEEL's shareholders.

ZEEL's strong expertise in content creation and its deep consumer connect established over the last 3 decades, coupled with SPNI's success across entertainment genres (including gaming and sports) will add significant value to the merged entity and its management team, thereby increasing shareholder value multifold.

Speaking on the development, Mr. R. Gopalan, Chairman, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. said, "The Board of Directors at ZEEL have conducted a strategic review of the merger proposal between SPNI and ZEEL. As a Board that encompasses a blend of highly accomplished professionals having rich expertise across varied sectors, we always keep in mind the best interests of all the shareholders and ZEEL. We have unanimously provided an in-principle approval to the proposal and have advised the management to initiate the due diligence process.

ZEEL continues to chart a strong growth trajectory and the Boardfirmly believes that this merger will further benefit ZEEL. The value of the merged entity and the immense synergies drawn between both the conglomerates will not only boost business growth but will also enable shareholders to benefit from its future successes. As per legal and regula tory guidelines, at the required stage, the proposal will be presented to the esteemed shareholders of ZEEL for their approval."

Under the guidance of the Board, the management of ZEEL, ably led by Mr. Punit Goenka, continues to steadily work towards achieving higher profitability in line with its set goals for the future. With this corporate development, the merged entity will result into an accelerated growth and a significant opportunity to create tremendous value for all its stakeholders.

Shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. was last trading in BSE at Rs. 255.65 as compared to the previous close of Rs. 255.3. The total number of shares traded during the day was 892256 in over 7506 trades.

The stock hit an intraday high of Rs. 261 and intraday low of 248.2. The net turnover during the day was Rs. 226673404.


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