‘Sony’s criminal design to start merger and withdraw’: Subhash Chandra

In an interview to Economic Times, the Zee founder also said the promoter family will raise its stake in the firm.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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“I can prove it was Sony’s criminal design to start the merger process and then withdraw,” Zee Entertainment Enterprises chairman emeritus Subhash Chandra has told The Economic Times in an interview.

Chandra has accused Sony of intentionally scuttling the deal with his company and threatened criminal action against the firm.

“I believe this was Sony’s strategy all along: To engage with Zee and eventually withdraw, portraying Zee as vulnerable. I intend to convey this perspective to the Zee board as well,” he said. 

About the crash in Zee share prices after Sony’s announcement that it was withdrawing from the deal, Chandra said, “Have patience for three to four quarters with Punit and the board, and you will see the results. The company will rebound to the levels it once achieved.”

The Zee founder also said the promoter family will eventually raise its stake in the company to 5 percent, and eventually to 26 percent.

The interview comes days after the Enforcement Directorate conducted searches at Essel Group’s Mumbai office, which also serves as the office premises for Zee Media, ET Now reported, citing sources.

The ED had also probed the group’s staffers during the raids held on Wednesday. 

Earlier this month, Sony Pictures Entertainment reportedly called off the $10 billion merger with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. The move followed a stalemate over whether Zee’s chief executive officer Punit Goenka would lead the merged entity amid an investigation into his conduct by capital markets regulator SEBI.

Newslaundry earlier reported that nearly a week before Sony cancelled the merger, Chandra had reportedly written to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, accusing SEBI of operating with a motive to sabotage the deal. Read here.

Newslaundry had also reported on Chandra’s collapsing house of cards – from being a media maverick to spending the last few years repaying debts. Read the deep-dive report here.

This report was published with AI assistance.


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