ZEE-Sony merger hits roadblock after Sebi issues 197-page response to SAT

Azha Khan



The proposed merger between ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), has hit a major roadblock after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said “urgent action” was needed against the promoters of ZEEL over allegations of fund diversions.

In a 197-page affidavit to Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT), Sebi said the application made by Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra and ZEEL Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Punit Goenka was “completely false and misleading”.

Business Standard reports Sebi saying, “We have a situation before us where the chairman emeritus and the MD and CEO of this large listed company are involved in a myriad of different schemes and transactions through which vast amounts of public money belonging to listed companies are diverted to private entities owned and controlled by these persons. The appellant’s conduct is telling in this regard. Not only have there been violations but also the issuance of multiple false disclosures and submission of statements to cover up such wrongdoings.”

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Chandra and Goenka are expected to submit their responses soon to Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT).