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Zee & Sony back at table to revive USD 10 billion merger

Zee & Sony back at table to revive USD 10 billion merger

The next 48 hours are crucial, with Zee willing to accept all terms of Japan-based media giant. And if agreement eludes them still, Sony will likely withdraw its merger application.

In a dramatic twist to a two-year saga, Indian media giant Zee Entertainment (Zee) and Japanese conglomerate Sony are reportedly re-engaging in discussions to revive their $10 billion merger. However, significant differences including ICC TV deal and legal hurdles threaten to derail the deal once again as per the Economic Times.

Second Chance for a Media Mega-merger:

After officially calling off the merger in January, representatives from both sides have held meetings, seeking to salvage the deal. While Zee is willing to accept all terms and conditions, major points of contention persist.

Zee-Sony Deal: Key Points of Friction ft ICC TV Deal

  • ICC TV Deal Write-Off: Sony wants a $300 million upfront write-off on cricket rights, while Zee seeks postponement.
  • Leadership Dispute: Zee CEO Punit Goenka agreed to relinquish his CEO demand but wants an advisory role, which Sony opposes.
  • Legal Complications: Both sides have initiated legal proceedings in various forums, adding complexity to the negotiation.
  • Financial Concerns: Sony wants to avoid further binding agreements due to Zee’s declining financials.

Zee’s Optimism vs. Sony’s Caution:

Despite Zee’s recent profit jump and streaming growth, Sony remains cautious due to the evolving financial landscape.

Multiple legal challenges before Indian and international tribunals further complicate the situation. News of renewed talks sent Zee’s stock up initially, but it has since fallen, reflecting ongoing uncertainties.

Future of Sony-Zee Deal:

The next 48 hours are crucial, with Zee willing to accept all terms of Japan-based media giant. And if agreement eludes them still, Sony will likely withdraw its merger application.

A high-stakes drama continues to unfold in the Indian media landscape, with the fate of this mega-merger hanging in the balance.

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