Russia assets and cricket caused clashes in Zee-Sony merger deal: Report

Sony and Zee clashed over the Indian media firm’s failure to dispose of some Russian assets and its $1.4 billion Disney cricket rights deal, before their India merger was scrapped, Reuters is reporting after reviewing internal emails. As previously reported, Sony and Zee disagreed over more than 20 compliance issues.

“Emails exchanged between December 20 and January 9 show executives from both companies accusing each other of not honouring the merger commitments,” Reuter reports. “Zee executives repeatedly said that there was nothing out of line, and asked Sony to extend the closure deadline.”

The report states that Zee’s top India counsel Shyamala Venkatachalam accused Sony of attempting to “depict a narrative which has no basis in facts”, saying Zee was dismayed by what it called was a “sudden volte face” from the company in bad faith.

In the days following the collapse of the merger, Zee Entertainment informed the Walt Disney Company that it does not intend to progress with $1.4 million deal to purchase the cricket TV rights that it acquired from the U.S firm.

After two years of intense negotiations, the Zee-Sony merger ended after Sony called off the deal claiming several breaches by ZEE.

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