Sony-Zee merger: Here’s what Punit Goenka said on Sebi’s order

By Reuters: The merger between ZEE Entertainment and the Indian unit of Japan’s Sony will go through, whether or not he is the CEO of the merged company, Punit Goenka told the Economic Times in an interview.

The Zee-Sony merger announced in 2021 was set to create a $10 billion TV enterprise, with Goenka becoming the merged entity’s managing director and CEO, but regulatory approvals are still pending.

On Wednesday, Sony said it took the India markets regulator’s ban on Zee Entertainment’s founder and CEO from holding board positions “seriously” and will monitor developments that may affect its deal with Zee.

Also Read | May affect deal: Sony issues statement on Sebi order against Zee promoters

The Securities and Exchange Board of India imposed a one-year ban against Zee Chairman Subhash Chandra, as well as CEO Goenka for being actively involved in diverting company funds to the group’s related entities.

“The ZEE-Sony merger holds immense significance, regardless of my position as CEO. The resulting entity will be under Sony’s control, and they have chosen to retain me as a promoter, MD, and CEO,” Goenka told the Economic Times.

“However, if the law prevents me from holding those positions, should the merger be allowed to fail? Such an outcome would negatively impact everyone involved in the ecosystem, as well as the sector as a whole.”

Zee did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Also Read | Zee shares plunge nearly 7% after Sebi order against promoters

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