NCLT tells ZEEL to hold shareholders’ meet on Oct 14 | The Financial Express

NCLT tells ZEEL to hold shareholders’ meet on Oct 14

The tribunal, in its order pronounced in the court on August 24, had directed ZEEL to hold the meeting on October 14, 2022, at 4 pm through videoconferencing and other audio-visual means.

NCLT tells ZEEL to hold shareholders’ meet on Oct 14
The merged firm will be a publicly-listed company, with ZEEL’s Punit Goenka continuing as its MD and CEO for five years.

The National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT’s) Mumbai bench has directed Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) to convene a shareholders’ meeting, to seek approvals for its proposed merger with rival Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI).The tribunal, in its order pronounced in the court on August 24, had directed ZEEL to hold the meeting on October 14, 2022, at 4 pm through videoconferencing and other audio-visual means. The NCLT also named a chairperson and scrutiniser for the meeting, according to a regulatory update by ZEEL. ZEEL, in its update, said it received the order on Wednesday.

According to earlier reports, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had raised concerns over the merger, which would create a $10-billion TV enterprise and its “unparalleled bargaining power” would potentially hurt competition. The NCLT order comes a month after ZEEL said it received approvals from the stock exchanges — both BSE and the National Stock Exchange — for its proposed merger with Culver Max Entertainment, formerly SPNI.

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Earlier on August 3, 2022, the country’s competition watchdog had sent a notice to the two companies, stating its initial review of that the proposed deal would place the combined entity in a strong position with about 92 channels in India. It also cited Sony’s global revenue of $86 billion and assets worth $211 billion.

Terming these as “humongous market position”, CCI added further inquiry needs to be conducted.

In December 2021, Culver Max Entertainment and ZEEL had signed a definitive agreement to merge their television networks, digital assets, production operations and programme libraries. SPNI, as part of the deal, would also infuse $1.58 billion in the merged entity.

Also read| Zee Entertainment shares fall over 3 pc as Invesco funds to divest up to 7.8 pc stake

The merged firm will be a publicly-listed company, with ZEEL’s Punit Goenka continuing as its MD and CEO for five years. The merger will create the largest media entertainment player in the country, with combined standalone revenues of about $2 billion, Goenka had said earlier.

Following the deal, Sony was to hold a 50.86% stake in the merged entity, promoters of ZEEL 3.99%, and other Zee shareholders the remaining 45.15% in the combined company. The deal, first announced on September 22, 2021, was signed after a 90-day due diligence period, which ended on December 21.

Ahead of the announcement, shares in ZEEL closed up 4.91% at Rs 260.70 on the BSE, which closed down 0.28% on Wednesday.

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