Zee says open to offers despite best deal from Sony: Report
Mumbai/IBNS: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. has said it is open to offers from other buyers although the potential merger with the Indian unit of Sony Group Corp. is the best deal it has at the moment, according to media reports.
“This is the best deal for shareholders at this point in time as we are interested in the maximization of values for all our stakeholders including shareholders, the company, and the consuming public," the company’s chairman R. Gopalan said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday.
He further said that the company is open to “consider if there is another deal on the table."
Post the announcement of Zee's potential merger with Sony, key investors Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC, who are resisting the move, called for a meeting.
Zee has already filed a lawsuit asking the Bombay High Court to declare illegal and invalid a notice by the two main investors for a meeting of shareholders.
The funds want the removal of Zee board members including Chief Executive Officer Punit Goenka, who’s leading 90-day exclusive merger talks with Sony, the report said.
Nearly 53 percent of the shares of the merged entity would be held by Sony and the rest by Zee’s holders, according to the non-binding agreement signed last month.
The new shareholder will infuse about $1.58 billion of funds at closing, and Sony would nominate a majority of the board, reported Bloomberg.
“We, as a board, have taken decisions based on applicable laws of land and what we think is good for shareholders," Gopalan said. “As of now, the due diligence process has already commenced and is progressing speedily. Post that, we will take it to shareholders for approval."
The merged entity will also consider bidding for broadcast rights of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament that is coming up for auction in December.
“Sony is very good at sports. It is a natural fit for us to bid for that," Gopalan said, the report added.