Singapore arbitration body refuses to rule on Zee-Sony merger issue
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3 months ago 06:00:52am Television

Singapore arbitration body refuses to rule on Zee-Sony merger issue

New Delhi, 05-February-2024, By IBW Team

Singapore arbitration body refuses to rule on Zee-Sony merger issue

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd yesterday said the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has denied Sony Group’s plea seeking a restrain against the Indian media company’s move to India’s NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) for enforcing the merger that was called off by the Japanese company’s Indian arm.

According to a PTI report yesterday, an Emergency Arbitrator of SIAC denied the interim relief sought by Culver Max and BEPL (Bangla Entertainment Pvt Ltd) to restrain Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd, observing it lacks jurisdiction to pass such an order, Zee stated in a filing to stock exchanges.

“We wish to inform that the Emergency Arbitrator has passed an award dated February 4, 2024 denying the application for emergency interim relief filed by Culver Max and BEPL and has determined that the Emergency Arbitrator has no jurisdiction or authority to injunct the Company from approaching the NCLT to implement the Merger Scheme since these are matters which fall within the statutory system and are for the NCLT to decide,” it added.

 Zee Entertainment can ask an Indian tribunal to enforce a $10 billion merger with Sony’s Indian unit after a Singapore arbitration centre rejected an emergency petition by the Japanese company for a stay of proceedings, Zee said on Sunday.

Japan’s Sony Group, the parent of Culver Max (formerly known as Sony Pictures Network India), scrapped on January 22 a merger deal with Zee Entertainment, ending a deal that could have created one of India’s biggest TV broadcasters, claiming breaches of contract.

Zee rejected the claims and asked an Indian tribunal to order Sony to honour its obligations to complete the merger.

A Reuters news dispatch on Sunday said Sony did not immediately respond to its calls and emails seeking comment.

The Zee-Sony merger, in the works for two years, would have created an Indian TV juggernaut with more than 90 channels across sports, entertainment and news that would have competed with the likes of Walt Disney and billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s media assets like Viacom18.

In terminating the merger, Sony also cited alleged failure by the Indian media company to meet some financial terms of the deal, a dispute over compliance issues, including disposal of some Russian and its $1.4 billion Disney cricket rights deal, Reuters reported last week.

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