Zee Entertainment, Induslnd Bank Reach Settlement Over Dues

Under settlement agreement Induslnd Bank to withdraw objection from NCLT Mumbai to Sony-Zee merger
Zee Entertainment
Zee Entertainment

Zee Entertainment and Induslnd Bank have informed NCLAT that the two companies have reached a settlement in relation to their financial payment due dispute, making way for Sony merger. 

Induslnd Bank cleared the way for Zee Entertainment merger with local unit of Japan’s Sony by informing NCLT that it would withdraw its objection. 

The first part of the total dues that Induslnd Bank, had claimed, has been paid. The remaining dues are to be paid within seven days of the merger or latest by June 30, as per CNBC TV 18 report. As per the Induslnd Bank’s plea, Zee had to make payment of nearly Rs 84 crore in the case related to Siti Networks.

Earlier this month, a Bloomberg report suggested that Zee Entertainment Enterprises had agreed to repay dues owned to Induslnd Bank Ltd as the company seeks to resolve insolvency proceedings initiated against it and inch close to completing a merger with a Sony Group unit to create a $10 billion media giant. 

In a regulatory filing on Wednesday, ZEEL said, "... the company and IndusInd Bank Ltd have entered into a settlement agreement by which all disputes and claims have been settled between the company and IndusInd Bank Ltd".

In February last year, IndusInd Bank filed a plea before the Mumbai bench of NCLT to initiate insolvency proceedings against ZEEL claiming that the media and entertainment firm defaulted Rs 83.08 crore.

The Mumbai bench of the NCLT had admitted the plea and appointed Sanjeev Kumar Jalan as the interim resolution professional in the matter.

Later, ZEEL Managing Director and Chief Executive Puneet Goenka had moved appellate tribunal NCLAT challenging the order of NCLT.

NCLAT has stayed the proceedings.

The matter pertained to a default in payments by Essel Group's multisystem operator arm Siti Networks. ZEEL was a guarantor to the loans taken by Siti Networks.   

The settlement with IndusInd Bank will be a major reprieve for ZEEL, which is merging with rival Culver Max Entertainment Pvt Ltd, formerly known as Sony Pictures Networks India, which will create India's biggest media empire.

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