SIAC to hear Sony-Zee arbitration matter tom

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is set to begin hearing in the arbitration case filed by Sony Group Corp-owned Culver Max Entertainment and Bangla Entertainment against Zee Entertainment Enterprises over the alleged breach of the merger agreement.

People aware of the matter said that the arbitration proceedings will begin on January 31 and will be held online.

In the arbitration, Zee will be represented by former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, while senior counsel Harish Salve will appear on behalf of Sony.

Both Sony and Zee declined to comment on the matter.

Sony terminated its merger agreement with Zee on January 22, demanding a $90 million termination fee from the Indian entertainment giant for alleged breaches of the merger agreement by Zee.

The merger was terminated due to disagreement over the leadership of the merged entity and unfulfilled closing conditions by Zee.

Zee has disputed Sony’s allegations and has stated that it will put up a strong defence during the arbitration proceedings.

On January 22, Zee urged the Sony-owned entities to withdraw the termination notice and implement the merger scheme.

“The company has called upon Culver Max and Bangla Entertainment to immediately withdraw the termination and confirm that they will perform their obligations to give effect to and implement the Merger Scheme, sanctioned by the NCLT,” Zee had noted.

Zee had also approached the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), seeking directions for Sony to implement the merger scheme. The hearing on Zee’s application has not yet taken place.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai bench of the NCLT on Tuesday gave Sony Group entities three weeks to respond to a plea filed by Mad Man Film Ventures, a Zee shareholder, seeking the tribunal’s intervention in implementing the merger scheme.

The division bench of judicial member Lakshmi Gurung and technical member Charanjeet Singh Gulati, while allowing the Sony Group companies Culver Max Entertainment and Bangla Entertainment three weeks to file their reply, has adjourned the matter to March 12.

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