India's Zee Entertainment to merge with Sony India

Punit Goenka will be the managing director and chief executive officer of the merged entity. Photo: Twitter
India's media and entertainment giant Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd said on Wednesday its board has given in-principle approval for its merger with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI).

Zee, which has a presence in television broadcasting and digital media with brands such as Zee TV, has been under pressure from top investors for a management reshuffle, including the exit of Chief Executive, Punit Goenka, from the board.

Zee said in an exchange filing that the company and SPNI have entered into a non-binding term sheet to bring together their linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries.

As part of the proposed deal, Zee shareholders will hold about 47.07% stake and the rest of the merged entity will be owned by Sony India shareholders.

The term sheet gives a period of 90 days, during which both firms will conduct mutual diligence and finalise definitive agreements, the filing said.

The merged entity will be publicly listed in India and Goenka will be its managing director and chief executive officer. Zee said the merger proposal would be presented to shareholders for their approval.