Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) have announced plans to combine both companies’ linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries.
The agreement provides an exclusive, non-binding, negotiation period of 90 days during which the two firms will conduct mutual diligence and negotiate definitive agreements.
The merger would bring together two of India’s leading media network businesses.
Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of SPNI, would invest growth capital so that SPNI has a cash balance of approximately USD $1.575 billion at closing for use 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.
Sony would hold a majority stake in the combined company and the combined company’s board of directors would include directors nominated by Sony Group and result in Sony Group having the right to nominate the majority of the board members.
Current ZEEL Managing Director & CEO Punit Goenka will lead the combined company.