Broadcasting giant Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) has taken legal action by approaching the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) after Culver Max Entertainment (formerly Sony Pictures India) terminated the $10 billion merger deal.
Zee is seeking directives from the NCLT to reverse the termination of the merger scheme, said the company in a stock exchange filing.
The company has also refuted the entitlement of Culver Max and BEPL to terminate the agreement and has also contested Sony's demand for a $90 million termination fee, deeming it without basis.
"The Company issued a reply to Culver Max and BEPL inter alia specifically denying any breach of its obligations under the MCA and reiterated that the Company has complied with all its obligations in good faith," as per the company's stock exchange filing.
It may be noted that Zee has also called upon Culver Max and BEPL 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 Hon’ble National Company Law Tribunal".
In addition to the NCLT, Zee has also engaged the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) to challenge Culver Max and BEPL's claims.
"The Company initiated appropriate legal action to contest Culver Max and BEPL’s claims in the arbitration proceedings before SIAC," said the company.
Following these developments, Zee's stock closed 6.70 per cent higher on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) at Rs 165.75 on Wednesday.
A few days ago, Sony terminated the merger deal with Zee, citing unmet demands. It also demanded $90 million from Zee as a termination fee.
However, Zee denied Sony's claims and said it would contest them legally to protect its shareholders. The legal action by Zee could mark the beginning of a long-drawn courtroom battle between the two media behemoths, setting the stage for the next leg of the merger drama.