caalley logo

The alley for Indian Chartered Accountants

Zee shelled out Rs 432 crore on failed merger with Sony unit

May 22, 2024

Zee Entertainment faced significant merger-related costs due to a failed deal with Culver Max Entertainment. The company also dealt with impairment charges, headcount reduction, arbitration cases, and demands for termination fees and compensation for damages.

Zee Entertainment incurred Rs 432 crore in merger-related costs during 2023-24 and 2022-23 on its failed merger deal with Sony Group Corporation's India media unit, Culver Max Entertainment, showed regulatory filings.

The firm's merger-related costs stood at Rs 256 crore in 2023-24 and Rs 176 crore in the year before that, according to the filings.

Culver Max Entertainment had terminated its merger agreement with Zee Entertainment on January 22 over the leadership issue of the proposed merged entity and unmet closing conditions.

The merger deal, which was signed in December 2021, had received all the key clearances from the stock exchanges, the Competition Commission of India and the National Company Law Tribunal.

As part of its portfolio rationalisation and meeting merger conditions, Zee Entertainment had to bear impairment charges of Rs 331 crore in 2022-23 on account of the closure of certain businesses, including Margo Networks.

The company said that the impact on consolidated results was Rs 98 crore in 2022-23, as the losses incurred by these entities were recorded in the earlier financial results.

Further, the company estimated the liability to fund the closure costs at Rs 32 crore in 2023-24.

Zee Entertainment, which has trimmed its headcount by 15% as part of aggressive cost-cutting measures, has also recorded an employee termination cost of Rs 22 crore as part of a recent restructuring.

On the arbitration cases filed by Culver Max Entertainment and Star India against the company, Zee Entertainment claimed that there won't be any material adverse impact as both cases were untenable.

Culver Max Entertainment has approached the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, seeking $90 million in termination fees from Zee Entertainment over alleged violations of the merger agreement.

Likewise, Star India has moved the London Court of International Arbitration seeking directions for Zee Entertainment to either implement the International Cricket Council (ICC) TV rights agreement between the two companies or provide compensation for damages the company has suffered.

[The Economic Times]

Read more on:
Don't miss an update!
Subscribe to our newsletter