Days before Sony called off Zee merger, Chandra wrote to Sitharaman questioning SEBI intent

Zee stocks nosedived after the merger was called off.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Nearly a week before Sony Pictures Entertainment announced that it had called off its merger with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, ZEEL promoter Subhash Chandra reportedly wrote to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while accusing SEBI of operating with a motive to sabotage the deal.

In his letter on January 16, accessed by CNBC-TV18, Chandra wrote that he had also written to the chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Board of India. “I am not suggesting that SEBI should not investigate, if they have doubts of any kind. The company and all other people are cooperating in the investigation, even the department has also summoned an ex-director, questioning him for over four hours.”

Meanwhile, troubles continue to mount for ZEEL after the merger was called off, with a SEBI probe claiming that a sum of Rs 1,000 crore has been siphoned off, according to a CNBC report. The company’s stocks continue to nosedive.

In the letter to Sitharaman, Chandra expressed concern about the timing of the notice considering the Zee-Culver Max merger completion timeline. He said that the notice did not contain any point which wasn’t already part of the company’s records that have already been provided to SEBI. He said SEBI has been acting with predetermined mind, which was evident in the order passed by the appellate court on October 30, 2023.

Zee had last year reportedly written to the Securities and Exchange Board of India that “continuous and repetitive” investigations – in a case pertaining to an alleged Yes Bank fund diversion – might impact its merger with Sony.

Zee is now more vulnerable amid rising challenges in the entertainment space. The merger would have created a media giant big enough to take on powerhouses such as Netflix and Amazon.

This report was published with AI assistance.

Also see
article imageSubhash Chandra’s collapsing house of cards


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