ZEE Escapes Insolvency: NCLT Dismisses IDBI's Plea Amid Talks Of Sony Merger

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) rejected IDBI Bank’s plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), promoted by Subhash Chandra.

What Happened? In December 2022, IDBI Bank, a public sector lender, filed a petition against ZEEL for a default amount exceeding ₹149 crore. IDBI claimed to be a financial creditor in this scenario, but ZEEL disputed this.

During this time, ZEEL was negotiating with its creditors, including IDBI, to repay its debts to complete a proposed merger with the Sony Group. This merger would result in a $10 billion (₹82,223 crore) media titan, as reported by Bloomberg.

Sources revealed to BB that ZEEL offered to repay IDBI’s ₹149 crore loan in instalments. The company is also in talks with Axis Bank Ltd and JC Flowers & Co.‘s asset reconstruction unit to repay dues of ₹40 crore each.

See also: Zee-Sony Merger In Trouble As Fresh Hurdles Surface?

It’s crucial for ZEEL to clear outstanding debts to proceed with its merger with Sony, which would establish India’s most-watched media company. Post-merger, Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. would own just over half of the shares.

At the merger announcement, the Atlanta-based Invesco Developing Markets Fund held an 18% stake in ZEEL, making it the largest shareholder. However, it has since divested its entire stake in the company.

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