Sony Group Corp plans to cancel its Indian unit's merger deal with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., following two years of drama and delays in creating a $10 billion media giant, people familiar with the matter said.
The Japanese group is considering canceling the deal due to the impasse over whether Zee Chief Executive Officer Punit Goenka, also the son of its founder, will lead the merged entity, the people said on condition of anonymity. But said, because the information is not public. While the agreement signed in 2021 was that Goenka would lead the new company, Sony no longer wants him as CEO amid the regulatory probe, the people said.
Sony plans to file a termination notice before the extended Jan. 20 deadline to close the deal, one of the people said, saying certain conditions required for the merger have not been met. According to another person, Goenka has remained firm on his desire to lead the merged entity, as initially agreed, during lengthy meetings over the past few weeks.
Discussions are still going on between the two sides and a solution may be reached even before the deadline.
Representatives for Sony and Zee did not immediately respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment.
The stalling of the deal due to a leadership battle in the final stages will not only make Zee vulnerable to a possible default, it also comes at a time when billionaire Mukesh Ambani is looking to boost Reliance Industries Ltd's media ambitions by negotiating a merger with Vault. Have been. India unit of Disney Company.