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Drama hits Sony's merger plans with India's Zee

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Jan 9, 2024
Illustration of a cricket playing hitting a ball through a television screen

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Zee Entertainment Enterprises said on Tuesday that a report alleging Sony will terminate its $10 billion merger with the Mumbai-based media giant is "baseless and factually incorrect."

Why it matters: The speculation over the massive merger's collapse comes amid reports that Disney and Reliance Industries are preparing to combine their Indian media operations.

Flashback: Sony announced a merger agreement with Zee in December 2021.

Details: Bloomberg and other media reported Monday that Sony was planning to cancel the merger, citing people familiar with the matter, over disagreements on who would lead the combined company.

  • "We wish to reiterate that the Company is committed to the merger with Sony and is continuing to work towards a successful closure of the proposed merger," Zee said in a letter to Indian stock exchanges on Tuesday.
  • On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Zee missed a $200 million payment to Disney in early January. Zee licenses TV rights to the International Cricket Council's men's matches with Disney Star.
  • Zee said the report was "baseless speculation," per Reuters.
  • Zee declined to comment further on the matter. Sony and Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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