Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) have announced that they have entered a non-binding term sheet to combine both companies’ linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries.
The term sheet allows an exclusive negotiation period of 90 days during which ZEE and SPNI will conduct mutual diligence and negotiate definitive, binding agreements. The company would be publicly listed in India and aims to be better positioned to lead the consumer transition from traditional pay-TV into the digital future.
Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of SPNI, would invest growth capital so that SPNI has a cash balance of approximately USD 1.575 billion at closing.
Sony Pictures Entertainment would hold a majority stake in the merged company. Punit Goenka, currently MD and CEO, ZEEL, is to lead the combined company. The board of directors would include directors nominated by Sony Group that has the right to nominate the majority of the board members.
The final transaction would be subject to completion of customary due diligence, negotiation, and execution of definitive binding agreements, and required corporate, regulatory and third-party approvals, including ZEEL shareholder vote.
This follows Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) entering into an agreement in 2016 where the former acquired the latter's portfolio of sports channels for USD 385mn (Rs 2,578cr).
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