Zee Entertainment has reached an agreement to merge with Sony Pictures Networks India, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, in order to calmly compete against Netflix, Amazon and Disney.
Sony Pictures Networks India and Zee Entertainment recently announced that they have signed definitive agreements to merge the Indian media giant with and into SPNI and combine their networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries. The agreements follow the conclusion of an exclusive negotiation period during which the two companies carried out mutual due diligence. According to the terms of the contracts, SPNI will have a cash balance of 1.5 billion dollars at the closing of the transaction, in particular thanks to the contribution of the current shareholders of SPNI and the founders of Zee Entertainment, in order to allow the combined company to create sharper content across all platforms, strengthen its presence in the rapidly changing digital ecosystem, bid for media rights in the growing sports landscape and capture other growth opportunities.
Sony’s takeover of Zee Entertainment will create India’s biggest broadcaster https://t.co/luZv5xsvTb
—Quartz India (@qzindia) December 23, 2021
“This is an important milestone in our efforts to bring together some of the strongest management teams, content creators and film libraries in the media industry to create extraordinary entertainment and value for Indian consumers.“, said Ravi Ahuja, president of Sony Pictures Entertainment Global Television Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment Corporate Development. “I want to thank Punit Goenka and his team at Zee Entertainment, and the small army of people at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Pictures Networks India who have worked so hard to get us to this point. I especially want to thank NP Singh, who introduced us to the idea of exploring this merger well over a year ago. He has done an amazing job in making Sony Pictures Networks India what it is today, and we look forward to continuing our work with him in his new role after the shutdown.“. ZEE Entertainment CEO Punit Goenka added, “This is an important milestone for all of us, as two leading media and entertainment companies combine to usher in the next era of entertainment, filled with opportunity. The combined company will create a comprehensive entertainment business, allowing us to serve our consumers with greater choice of content across all platforms. I am immensely grateful to the teams at ZEE Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Pictures Networks India for their efforts, which quickly got us to this point on schedule. This merger represents a significant opportunity to take businesses to the next level and generate substantial growth on the global stage. I look forward to working with the guidance of the esteemed members of the combined company’s Board of Directors to unlock the potential of this merger, and wish NP Singh the best in his new role at Sony Pictures Entertainment. His contribution to the Indian media and entertainment industry has been invaluable. I am confident that our collective wisdom, rich experience and expertise will lead to a business that is more value-creating and more exciting for our shareholders and employees, and more engaging for our customers and partners.”
A mega TV network in the Indian market for Sony Pictures Entertainment
The combination of Zee Entertainment and Sony Pictures Networks India is expected to realize commercial synergies and, given their relative strengths in scripted, factual and sports programming, their respective distribution footprints across India and their iconic entertainment brands, the combined company should be well positioned to meet growing consumer demand for premium content across entertainment touchpoints and platforms. The perfect combination of rich content creation expertise, deep consumer knowledge and success in all entertainment genres should enable the new company to increase shareholder value. Led by Sony Group Corporation, a global leader in consumer technology, games and entertainment, the new company should be better able to compete with the world’s biggest streaming players.