By P.R. Venkat
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.'s board has approved its merger with the Indian unit of Sony Group Corp., a move aimed at improving profitability and growth in South Asia.
Sony Pictures Networks India and Zee have entered a 90-day exclusivity period during which both the companies will conduct due diligence and finalize the agreement, Zee said Wednesday.
The merged entity will be a publicly listed company in India.
After the deal, Sony India will have a 52.93% stake in the merged entity while Zee will hold the rest.
"The value of the merged entity and the immense synergies drawn between both the conglomerates will not only boost business growth but will also enable shareholders to benefit from its future successes," Zee's chairman R. Gopalan said.
As part of the transaction, Punit Goenka will continue to be the managing director and chief executive of the merged entity, Zee said. Sony Group will have the right to appoint majority directors on the board of the merged company.
Zee offers content ranging from movies to music and is also involved in the theatre business. It has a presence in 173 countries and is among the largest global content companies across genres, languages, and platforms.
Sony India is a indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Japan's Sony Group. The Indian unit has several channels including Sony Entertainment TV. It has over 700 million viewers in India and is available in 167 countries.
Write to P.R. Venkat at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires