ZEE withdraws merger implementation application from NCLT

New Delhi, April 17 (FN Agency) ZEE Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) on Tuesday said that it has withdrawn a merger implementation application filed before the Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal. The company in a media release said that the decision was taken by the Board after seeking appropriate legal advice and reviewing the action-oriented steps implemented by the management. ZEE had filed the merger implementation application on 24th January 2024 seeking directions on the implementation of the Composite Scheme of Arrangement between ZEE, Culver Max Entertainment Pvt Ltd (formerly Sony Pictures Networks India) and Bangla Entertainment Pvt Ltd. In a media statement, ZEE said the decision to pull out the application will enable it to pursue growth and evaluate strategic opportunities to generate higher value for all shareholders.

“The Board remains committed towards reviewing the strategic action-oriented steps taken by the management and providing timely guidance,” it said. The statement further said, “This decision to withdraw the implementation application will enable the company to continue to aggressively pursue all its claims against Sony in the ongoing arbitration proceedings at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and in other forums.” Commenting on the decision, ZEE Chairman R Gopalan said that the immediate priority for the company is to focus on performance and achieve its targeted goals for the future. “We have reviewed the key steps taken by the management over the last few months that are result-oriented, and we believe that the company is well poised to chart a stronger growth trajectory.

Hence, after seeking an independent legal opinion, the Board has advised the management of the company to withdraw the implementation application filed before the Hon’ble NCLT. The Board remains focused towards maximizing shareholder value, strengthening the company’s claims in arbitration and enabling the company to explore strategic opportunities,” Gopalan said. The NCLT had in August, 2023 approved the merger of Zee Entertainment and Sony Pictures Networks India. The Japanese media giant Sony, however, called off the deal in January this year following disagreement over several issues. Sony also sought US$ 90 million from ZEE on account of alleged breaches of terms of merger co-operation agreement.