Japan’s Sony Group has terminated its $10 billion merger with Zee Entertainment due to an impasse over who would lead the combined entity.
The deal, which was announced over two years ago, was considered essential for the survival of both companies in a highly competitive market. However, an impending merger between Disney’s Indian businesses and the media assets of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries added to the pressure on both companies.
Sony has cited unmet conditions of the merger agreement as the reason for the termination. Although it did not specify the unfulfilled conditions, the stalemate over who would lead the combined company had put the merger in danger. Zee proposed CEO Punit Goenka, but Sony disagreed owing to a market regulator probe into Goenka. Zee shares closed 1.5% lower in Saturday’s trading session in Mumbai.