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Zee Entertainment shares rise 6% as watchdog greenlights Sony merger

Zee Entertainment shares rise 6% as watchdog greenlights Sony merger

Shares of Indian media giant, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), reportedly jumped 6%, to INR 283.75 ($3.46) during intra-day trading on Thursday, 6th October, after India’s competition regulator granted a conditional approval to the firm’s proposed merger with Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) India.

In an exchange filing, ZEEL stated that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the company’s and Bangla Entertainment Private Limited’s (BEPL) amalgamation with Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited (CMEPL), which is doing business as SPN India, with certain modifications.

Over the past week, ZEEL stocks have appreciated more than 13%, as compared to the 3.5% rise on the S&P BSE Sensex index.

In September, the National Company Law Tribunal asked ZEEL to conduct a meeting with its shareholders on 14th of October to get approval for the proposed merger.

Both ZEEL and SPN India operate flagship tv channels in the country’s Hindi language general entertainment segment. As per available data, the two firms combined command a 36% viewership share within the category.

Sony Pictures Networks India stated that it was thrilled to receive approval from CCI for the merger and is awaiting remaining regulatory approvals to launch the newly merged company.

It added that the new entity will provide extraordinary value to Indian consumers and result in the switch from traditional pay TV to a digital future.

Experts believe that with the approval, the merger may be finalized by the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.

ICICI Securities, the investment advisor arm of ICICI Corporation, stated that although the conditions have not been disclosed, media reports indicate that it might involve shutting down a TV channel, but the firm does not expect any of the regional channel or second GEC segment to be affected by it.

Meanwhile, analysts at stockbroker Sharekhan believe the merger will be beneficial in terms of revenue and would help the merged entity become the strongest player in the industry.

It explained that the new entity will assign its growth capital to premium content and strengthen its position in the over-the-top media sector.

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Pursuing her professional career as a content writer for over two years now, Pooja Sharma is endowed with a post-graduate degree in English Literature. The articles that she writes are a balanced blend of her ever-growing love of language and the technical expertise that she has gained over the years. Currently Pooja pens insightful articles for Newsorigins and numerous other websites, covering subjects such as business, finance, and technology.