Punit Goenka: “ZEE-Sony merger in final stages”

BizAsia Correspondent



Punit Goenka has confirmed that the merger between ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), is now in its “final stages”.

The Managing Director and CEO of ZEEL told the APOS India Summit by MPA (Media Partners Asia) that the “consolidation is going to benefit the industry overall”.

He was quoted in LiveMint saying, “I certainly believe that consolidation is going to benefit the industry overall. ZEE and Sony will form the largest media entertainment player in the country. Our revenues on a standalone basis combined will be close to $2 billion, and the capital growth that Sony is going to infuse in the merge entity will really give us the opportunity to invest in premium content and that includes sports.”

He added, “The opportunity is great, because the digital landscape has opened up a new opportunity for monetization, which did not exist five years ago. And the sector itself will see a lot more happening going forward. So certainly, sports will become an area of focus for the merged entity.”

Talking about the upcoming IPL media rights, he stated, “But the decision for bidding or not bidding, and bidding at what value etc., will be taken by the board of the new merged company, and not by me individually.”

Despite this, ZEEL is in a bitter feud with its largest shareholder, Invesco, over demands to remove Goenka and reconstitute the ZEE board.

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