Zee-Sony merger saga ends: Timeline of the failed merger

Sony Group Corp on Monday called off its merger with ZEEL, after two years of negotiating the $10 billion deal.

By  Storyboard18Jan 23, 2024 8:05 AM
Zee-Sony merger saga ends: Timeline of the failed merger
On September 2021, Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) announced that its board of directors has unanimously provided an in-principle approval for the company's merger with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI). (Image source: Moneycontrol)

After two years and many twists and turns, Sony Group Corp called off the $10 billion merger with Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) on January 22, on the day of the Ram Mandir consecration in Ayodhya. Zee’s Punit Goenka who was present at the Ram Mandir celebrations and said that the termination of the merger deal was a “sign from the Lord”.

Here’s a complete timeline of the merger’s life, from start to end.

Sony-Zee merger timeline

September 2021: Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) announced that its board of directors has unanimously provided an in-principle approval for the company's merger with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI). A meeting in this regard was held on September 21, 2021.

December 2021: After the 90-day due diligence period came to an end on December 21, the merger deal was signed by the two companies.

February 2022: IndusInd Bank filed a plea before the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to initiate insolvency proceedings against Zee. Back then, it was claimed that the company defaulted ₹83.08 crore.

July 2022: Indian stock exchanges BSE and NSE approved the merger of ZEEL with Sony Pictures Networks India.

October 2022: On October 4, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country’s anti-trust regulator, approved the proposed merger with certain modifications.

December 2022: On December 15, private lender IDBI Bank moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against ZEEL, seeking an insolvency proceeding against the media firm to recover dues of ₹149.60 crore.

March 2023: Zee Entertainment and IndusInd Bank inform NCLAT that they have settled their payment dispute.

May 2023: NCLAT set aside the order of NCLT that directed the stock exchanges to review their earlier approval for the merger.

June 2023: The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) banned Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka from holding any managerial or directorial roles.

August 2023: On August 10, the Mumbai bench of NCLT approved the merger between ZEEL and Sony.

September 2023: Axis Finance files an appeal in NCLAT against NCLT's nod to the Zee-Sony merger.

October 2023: The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) set aside an interim order of SEBI barring Punit Goenka from holding directorial positions in listed companies.

November 2023: Sony reportedly sought NP Singh to lead the merged entity.

December 2023: NCLAT issued notice to ZEEL over petitions filed by IDBI Bank and AXIS Finance against an NCLT order. Last month, Zee also sought an extension of the deadline for the merger, while Sony issued a statement stating that the company is looking forward to hearing ZEE's plans.

January 2024: Sony notifies ZEEL of its decision to call off the merger.


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First Published on Jan 23, 2024 8:02 AM

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