On Wednesday, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd announced that its board of directors has given preliminary approval to its merger with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI).
Top investors have pressed Zee for a management overhaul, including the departure of Chief Executive Punit Goenka from the board of directors. Zee has a presence in television broadcasting and digital media with brands such as Zee TV.
Zee and SPNI have signed into a non-binding term sheet to combine their linear networks, digital assets, production operations, and programme libraries, according to an exchange filing.
Zee shareholders will control roughly 47.07 percent of the amalgamated firm under the proposed agreement, while SPNI shareholders will possess the balance. According to the filing, the term sheet specifies a 90-day period during which both businesses will perform mutual diligence and conclude formal agreements.
The combined company will be listed on the Indian stock exchange, and Goenka will serve as its managing director and chief executive officer.
The merger proposal will be presented to shareholders for approval, according to Zee.
The company was launched on 15 December 1991 as Zee Telefilms, brandname that was retained until 2006. In 2002, the company acquired a majority stake (51%) in ETC Networks. In 2006, they acquired Integrated Subscriber Management Services Limited, and in November 2006, it acquired an 50% stake in Taj television, owner of TEN Sports. On that same year, the company was rebranded as Zee Entertainment Enterprises.
In February 2010, the business acquired an additional stake (95%) in TEN Sports.