Coming across as a surprise to many, the Board of Directors of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) unanimously provided an in-principle approval for the merger between Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) & ZEEL.
SPNI will also infuse growth capital into SPNI as part of the merger such that SPNI has approximately $1.575 billion at closing, for pursuing other growth opportunities.
Talking about further credentials, the deal brings together Zee’s strength in linear television, as well as its interests in print, internet, film production, mobile content and its 4,800 film library that will combine with SPNI’s film and television production and its entertainment and sports television networks.
The proposed merged entity will be lead by current Zee CEO Punit Goenka. Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of SPNI, will hold a majority stake in the combined company.
The combined company’s board of directors would include directors nominated by Sony Group, with the group having the right to nominate the majority of the board members.
Sony Pictures Entertainment will inject capital into SPNI, approximately $1.575 billion, as part of the growth plan for the new entity that includes building out its digital platforms and bidding for sports rights.