Mumbai: Japanese Entertainment Giant Sony Group Corp on Monday formally communicated to Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd its decision to call off the merger with its India unit. Sony cited unmet conditions as the reason for terminating the merger with Zee and has sought $90 million in termination fees. Meanwhile Zee Entertainment said that it will take legal action against Sony Group for terminating the merger plans which would have created India's largest broadcasting company worth $10 billion.

Zee CEO Punit Goenka on Monday reacted to Sony officially ending the merger of its India unit with Zee. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), he called it a ‘sign from the lord’. He said, “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.”

“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,” he added. Sony, in a statement, said, “The Merger did not close by the End Date as, among other things, the closing conditions to the Merger were not satisfied by then. Sony Pictures Networks India Private Ltd (SPNI) has been engaged in discussions in good faith to extend the End Date but the Discussion Period has expired without an agreement upon an extension of the End Date. As a result, on January 22, 2024, SPNI issued a notice to ZEEL terminating the definitive agreements."

“The definitive agreements provided that if the Merger did not close by the date twenty-four months after their signature date (the “End Date"), the parties would be required to discuss in good faith an extension of the End Date required to make the Merger effective by a reasonable period of time."

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