Zee CEO Punit Goenka on Sony scrapping merger: ‘Sign from the Lord’

Zee Entertainment Enterprises chief executive officer Punit Goenka on Monday reacted to Sony officially calling off the merger of its India unit with the Mumbai-based media conglomerate, calling it a ‘sign from the lord’.

“As I arrived at Ayodhya early this morning for the auspicious occasion of Pran Pratishtha, I received a message that the deal that I have spent 2 years envisioning and working towards had fallen through, despite my best and most honest efforts,” Goenka posted on X.

“I believe this to be a sign from the Lord. I resolve to move ahead positively and work towards strengthening Bharat’s pioneering M&E Company, for all its stakeholders,” the Zee CEO added in the social media post.

Japanese entertainment giant Sony on Monday officially notified Zee of its plans to scrap the merger between its India unit and the media conglomerate. The decision follows a stalemate between the two companies whether Goenkar would lead the merged entity amid a probe into its conduct by Securities Exchange Board of India.

Zee MD and CEO Punit Goenka
Zee MD and CEO Punit Goenka

The standoff scuttled the deal, which would have created a $10 billion media giant with the financial muscle to take on global powerhouses Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

In its statement, Zee said it is planning to take action against Sony for its decision to call off the merger. “ZEEL categorically denies all the assertions raised by Culver Max and BEPL on the alleged breaches under the terms of the MCA, including their claims for the termination fee,” the Zee statement added.

Zee stated that Punit Goenka was “agreeable to stepping down in the interest of the merger”. The statement added,”Discussions were held on related proposals, including the appointment of a director to the Board of the merged company and provisions for the conduct of ongoing investigations and legal proceedings in the best interest of Zee’s directors and shareholders”.

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