ZEE, Sony Back At The Table As Merger Talks Resume Despite Previous Cancellation: Report

Zee-Sony merger saga continues as ZEEL reopens discussions with Sony Group Corp, striving to revive $10-billion deal post-cancellation
Zee-Sony Merger
Zee-Sony Merger

The Zee-Sony merger saga continues to dominate the headlines as the media companies have once again come under the spotlight. Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) has reportedly resumed discussions with Sony Group Corp in a final effort to resurrect their $10-billion merger deal, despite its official cancellation on January 22nd.

In the past two weeks, representatives from both sides have been conducting meetings in various locations in Mumbai, striving to salvage the deal. Despite the growing momentum, significant differences remain unresolved, raising concerns about the success of the renewed negotiations. According to a report in the Economic Times, both sides remain steadfast in their respective positions, which could ultimately impede progress in the talks.

Within the upcoming 24 to 48 hours, Zee is poised to communicate to Sony its stance on accepting all terms and conditions, including conditions precedent (CPs), and moving forward with the agreement.

If not, Sony is likely to retract its initial merger application submitted to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) over two years ago, when the merger agreement was established.

On the contrary, reconciliation would entail the withdrawal of ongoing legal proceedings. Both Sony and Zee have pursued resolutions through multiple channels, including the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SAIC) and the NCLT.

The report also indicates a disagreement over honoring crucial CPs that remain outstanding. Zee advocates for any agreement to become legally 'irrevocable' upon signature, whereas Sony hesitates to make such a commitment. The initial agreement between the parties was executed in late 2021. Since then, financial conditions have deteriorated, leading Sony to avoid any binding agreements.

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