ZEE Entertainment To Repay IndusInd Bank Dues, Close Merger Deal With Sony: Report

As ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd seeks to resolve insolvency proceedings initiated against it and inch closer to completing a merger with a Sony Group unit to create a $10 billion media giant, the media company has agreed to repay dues owed to IndusInd Bank Ltd, citing sources privy to the development news agency Bloomberg said.

According to the report, the settling of dues of about Rs 837 million ($10 million) to the lender could happen as early as Friday. The Mumbai-based bank has agreed to withdraw its insolvency proceedings against ZEE once the repayment is made, the people sources said.

IndusInd Bank had approached the bankruptcy court in February, seeking to start insolvency proceedings against ZEE, a move which could have threatened the merger by stopping all transactions, including asset transfers. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, an appeals court, halted the insolvency proceedings against the media company last month.

Representatives for ZEE Entertainment and IndusInd didn’t respond to Bloomberg’s emails and phone calls seeking comments.

A lawyer representing ZEE told the NCLAT last month that the Sony deal had received all necessary approvals but would be stalled because of the initiation of corporate insolvency proceedings. The merger, which has been in the making longer than the time lines originally indicated by ZEE, has been approved by ZEE’s shareholders and India’s antitrust regulator, CCI.

Meanwhile, ZEE last week said it has ‘mutually’ settled disputes with the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) and the insolvency petition filed against by the latter has been withdrawn before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), the PTI reported.

According to a regulatory filing by ZEEL, “The Company and IPRS have mutually entered into the settlement agreement today on such agreed terms by which all disputes and claims have been settled between the Company and IPRS and accordingly IPRS has agreed to withdraw the aforesaid insolvency petition filed by them.”

Though ZEEL has not shared the terms and conditions of settlement, however, it said that is entered into the settlement agreement. “There is no penalty paid and no material impact on the financial position of the Company,” it said.

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