Punit Goenka stated in an interview with the Economic Times that the merger between ZED Entertainment and the Indian division of Sony will proceed “whether or not” he serves as the CEO of the combined business.
The viability of the Zee-Sony merger is now in doubt after the markets regulator gave Zed Entertainment’s chairman Subhash Chandra and CEO Punit Goenka a one-year ban for actively participating in the diversion of corporate cash to the group’s affiliated firms.
Punit Goenka was going to run a $10 billion TV company as the amalgamated company’s managing director and CEO.
“Regardless of my role as CEO, the ZEE-Sony merger is of utmost importance. “Sony will be in charge of the resulting entity, and they have decided to keep me on as a promoter, MD, and CEO,” Punit Goenka told the Economic Times.
The remarks follow Sony’s statement on Wednesday that it regarded the suspension imposed on Subhash Chandra and Punit Goenka by the Securities and Exchange Board of India “seriously” and would be keeping an eye on any events that would have an impact on the deal, which was announced in 2021.
Requests for comment from Reuters were not immediately answered by Zed.
“However, should the merger be permitted to collapse if the law prohibits me from holding those positions? Punit Goenka told the Economic Times that such a result would be detrimental to everyone participating in the ecosystem as well as the industry as a whole.
Analysts who agreed with Punit Goenka did so.
If Punit (Goenka) is not granted relief by the nation’s tribunal, the merger would proceed with a Sony representative serving as CEO, according to analyst Karan Taurani of brokerage Elara Capital.
On Thursday, Zed shares opened 2.6% higher and increased as much as 3% throughout the day.