Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) on Wednesday said it will continue to monitor developments that may affect the merger deal between its Indian arm and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.
In a statement following reports over the fate of the deal in view of Sebi's interim order against Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd MD and CEO Punit Goenka, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) said it takes the Sebi interim order seriously.
"There have been several erroneous press reports recently speculating about the future of ZEE's planned merger with SPNI (Sony Pictures Networks India) following SEBI's interim order against Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka," the company said.
It further said, "We take very seriously the SEBI interim order and will continue to monitor developments that may affect the deal."
Last week, Chandra and Goenka moved the Securities Appellate Tribunal challenging the Sebi interim order that barred them from holding the position of a director or key managerial personnel in any listed company.
Markets regulator Sebi took the action against Chandra and Goenka for siphoning off funds of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL).
In September 2021, SPNI and ZEEL had entered into a non-binding term sheet to bring together their linear networks, digital assets, production operations and programme libraries. The combined entity will own over 70 TV channels, two video streaming services (ZEE5 and Sony LIV) and two film studios (Zee Studios and Sony Pictures Films India), making it the largest entertainment network in India.
Shareholders of ZEEL had given their ascent to the merger last year in October, weeks after fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India gave its conditional nod.
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