Sony-Zee merger to form Indian entertainment giant to rival Disney and Netflix
Sony’s Indian arm has reached a deal with Indian rival Zee Entertainment to create the second biggest entertainment network in India.
The Indian unit of the Japanese conglomerate will merge 75 television channels, film assets and two streaming platforms with Zee Entertainment, in a bid to compete with streaming rivals Netflix and Disney in India.
The new network will include popular channels from both companies such as Sony MAX and Zee TV.
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) will own around 51 per cent of the new entity, which will be publicly listed in India, while Zee founders will own 3.99 per cent – though it is Punit Goenka, Zee chief executive who will head up the merged company as CEO and managing director.
Shares in Zee initially surged 35 per cent to a market capitalisation close to $4.5bn (£3.4bn) when the deal was first announced in September, but were more volatile in early trade today after details of the deal emerged.