Sony Group unit to amass India’s Zee, make investments $1.57 billion

Sony Footage Networks India mentioned on Wednesday it has agreed to amass Zee Leisure, which, if the deal materializes, will deliver collectively two of the most important broadcasting giants in India that run giant cable tv networks, streaming companies, music labels, and personal scores of different digital belongings.

The subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate group mentioned it should make investments $1.575 billion in Zee Leisure, a 30-year-old agency that has been grappling with inner governance points.

Sony mentioned it desires to amass a controlling 53% stake within the publicly listed Zee Leisure, however didn’t disclose how a lot it plans to spend on shopping for Zee, which operates over 5 dozen TV channels in English, Hindi, and lots of regional languages and has tie-ups with a number of international studios for broadcasting and streaming their library in India. Sony Footage Networks India, equally, operates over two dozen TV channels within the South Asian market.

A merger would assist the 2 companies regain market share within the nation, the place the tv panorama has considerably modified prior to now 20 years — due to the arrival of recent gamers and dramatically quick web adoption.

Each Zee and Sony have been essential fixtures within the Indian TV business for the final 25 years. Sony launched Sony Leisure Tv in India in 1995 and has aired among the most memorable exhibits together with “Indian Idol,” and “Kaun Banega Crorepati,” an official Hindi adaptation of “Who Desires to be a Millionaire?”

The companies additionally function on-demand streaming companies corresponding to Zee5 and SonyLiv that compete with dozens of different gamers together with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney’s Hotstar. Zee5 and SonyLiv each collectively amassed over 150 million month-to-month energetic customers — although there’s doubtless a substantial overlap between their consumer bases.

The 2 companies mentioned that over the following 90 days they are going to conduct due diligence and finalize a definitive settlement. Analysts say that Zee will want a majority approval from its shareholders for the deal to undergo.

In a submitting to BSE, the publicly listed Zee Leisure mentioned the proposed merged entity shall be led by present Zee chief govt Punit Goenka (pictured above). A number of Zee shareholders have requested for the termination of Goenka and different prime officers in latest days.

Zee’s shares surged 35% on the information Wednesday, giving it a market worth of $4.5 billion.

“The mixed firm can be a publicly listed firm in India and be higher positioned to guide the patron transition from conventional pay TV into the digital future,” Sony Footage Networks India mentioned in an announcement. “The merger of ZEEL and SPNI would deliver collectively two main Indian media community companies, benefitting shoppers all through India throughout content material genres, from movie to sports activities.”

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