Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises have completed a merger to become India’s second-largest entertainment network by revenue and create a content giant in the region including movies, TV and streaming.
The two companies sealed their union, first announced on September 21, on Wednesday after signing definitive merger documents. The deal sees Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of SPNI, which holds a majority stake in the merged company, to be publicly listed in India.
The deal creates a company that oversees 75 linear TV channels, two established streaming services (SonyLIV and Zee5), two major movie studios, a digital content studio (Studio NXT) and a library program library associated with thousands of movies and series.
Zee CEO Punit Goenka will lead the company along with SPNI MD and CEO NP Singh joining the board. Singh is moving up the SPE corporate ladder, taking over as president of Sony Picture India and reporting to SPE’s head of global TV studios, Ravi Ahuja, who took over the role in March. .
The board of directors of the combined company will consist of directors nominated by the SPE, with the group having the power to nominate a majority of board members.
SPE will pour capital into SPNI, about $1.575 billion, as part of a growth plan for the consolidated company that includes building digital platforms and bidding for sports rights.