Sony Zee Merger
In September 2021, Culver Max and ZED signed a non-binding term sheet. This was done to integrate their linear network, digital assets, production activities, and programme libraries. According to the merger’s plan of operation, Sony Group will indirectly own 50.86% of the new business. The creator of ZED will hold about 4% of the company, with the remaining shares going to the other ZED owners. A ‘non-compete’ fee of 1,100 crores would also be paid by Sony Group to the promoters of the Essel Group.
The combined company will reportedly own more than 70 TV channels, two streaming services (ZEE5 and Sony LIV), two film studios (Zed Studios and Sony Pictures Films India), and more, making it India’s largest entertainment network.
Analysis of Tribunal Decision
A ruling by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai ordering stock exchanges to review their initial approvals for the merger of Zed Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zed) and Culver Max Entertainment, formerly known as Sony Pictures Networks India, was overturned by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), a Coram of judicial member Justice Rakesh Kumar and technical member Dr Alok Srivastava.
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) were instructed to issue amended no-objection certificates by June 16, 2023, by order of the NCLT on May 11. ZED appealed this May 11 order to the NCLAT. Zed said that there wasn’t enough time given to hear its side of the story. Additionally, it claimed that the NCLT lacked the authority to rule on matters like non-compete fees.