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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Singapore Arbitration Centre denies Sony Group’s plea for restrain against Zee Entertainment

Sony had last month terminated the agreement with Zee to merge its two Indian entities — Culver Max Entertainment (earlier known as Sony Pictures Network India) and BEPL. Subsequently, Zee approached the NCLT against the decision by Sony, seeking directions from the tribunal to enforce the merger

Our Special Correspondent Mumbai Published 05.02.24, 11:38 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd on Sunday said the Singapore Arbitration Centre has denied Sony Group’s plea seeking a restrain against the Indian media company’s move to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for enforcing the merger that was called off by the Japanese company’s Indian arm.

An emergency arbitrator of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre denied the interim relief sought by Culver Max and BEPL (Bangla Entertainment Pvt Ltd) to restrain Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd, observing it lacks jurisdiction to pass such an order, Zee stated in a filing to the stock exchanges.

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Sources, however, said the arbitration proceedings on Sony demanding $90 million in termination fees from Zee will continue.

“We wish to inform that the emergency arbitrator has passed an award dated February 4, 2024, denying the application for emergency interim relief filed by Culver Max and BEPL and has determined that the emergency arbitrator has no jurisdiction or authority to injunct the Company from approaching the NCLT to implement the merger scheme since these are matters which fall within the statutory system and are for the NCLT to decide,” Zee added.

Sony had last month terminated the agreement with Zee to merge its two Indian entities — Culver Max Entertainment (earlier known as Sony Pictures Network India) and BEPL. Subsequently, Zee approached the NCLT against the decision by Sony, seeking directions from the tribunal to enforce the merger.

Zee called upon Culver Max and Bangla Entertainment, the two Sony arms, to immediately withdraw the termination notice.

It also asked them to confirm they will perform their obligations to give effect to and implement the merger scheme that was sanctioned by the NCLT on August 10, 2023.

After Zee approached the tribunal, another petition was filed by its shareholder seeking enforcement of the merger deal. While the petition was filed by Mad Men Film Ventures, the Mumbai bench of the NCLT directed Culver Max to file a reply within three weeks. It will now hear the matter on March 12.

During the hearing, Darius Khambata, who represented Sony, urged the tribunal to dismiss Mad Men Film Ventures’ plea saying it was not maintainable as the company was a proxy for Zee.

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