ZEE Entertainment on Friday announced that the broadcaster received approval from Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) for its proposed merger with Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited (formerly Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited).
According to the company, the approval from the stock exchanges marks a firm and positive step in the overall merger approval process. “The approvals permit the Company to proceed with the next steps in the overall merger process. The Composite Scheme of Arrangement remains subject to applicable regulatory and other approvals,” the company said in a statement.
In December 2021, Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) had finalised a deal to merge television channels, film assets and streaming platforms. The merged company, which will be a publicly listed company, will now be India’s second-largest entertainment network by revenue with 75 TV channels, two video streaming services (ZEE5 and Sony LIV), two film studios (Zee Studios and Sony Pictures Films India), a digital content studio (Studio NXT), and programming libraries.
Zee had approved the appointment of Punit Goenka as chief executive officer of the merged company. The majority of the board of directors of the combined company will be nominated by the Sony Group and will include NP Singh, managing director and CEO, Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited. On closing, Singh will assume a broader executive position at SPE as chairman, Sony Pictures India (a division of SPE) and will report to Ravi Ahuja, chairman, global television studios and corporate development, SPE.
The company had stated that the capital invested will be used to enhance the combined company’s digital platforms across technology and content, ability to bid for broadcasting rights in the fast-growing sports landscape and pursue other growth opportunities. In the new merged entity, Culver Max will own 50.86% stake while the promoter group Essel will own a 3.99%. Public’s shareholding will stand at 45.15%.