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Zee-Sony merger faces another hurdle?

The NCLT is currently reviewing the ongoing merger case of the two media companies

The proposed merger between Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) and Sony Pictures Networks India will likely face a significant challenge due to a recent order passed by the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI). 

The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has been informed by stock exchanges BSE and NSE that SEBI has asked them to apprise it of a recently passed order on Shirpur Gold Refinery (SGRL), an Essel Group company, according to media reports.

The NCLT is currently hearing the ongoing merger case of Zee and Sony.

An interim order was issued by SEBI in April in a case concerning SGRL, its former chairman Amit Goenka, promoter Jayneer Infrapower and Multiventures, alongside five others for alleged siphoning of funds and other rule violations.

SGRL is a part of Subhash Chandra Goenka-led Essel Group and has been taken to NCLT by its lenders. Amit Goenka was the non-executive chairman and director of Shirpur till FY22.

Meanwhile, Nausher Kohli - the counsel representing the NSE – stated that the stock exchange had been directed by SEBI to apprise the tribunal about the order passed by it while hearing the scheme of Zee’s merger.

The proposed merger has already been facing hurdles due to opposition from various lenders, including Axis Finance and JC Flower ARC, among others. The creditors have been seeking a direction from NCLT to Zee promoters to repay using the funds they are supposed to receive as part of the non-compete fee from Sony.

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