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General News Sony completes acquisition of ZEEL’s sports biz for $18.68 mn less than original deal
Sony completes acquisition of ZEEL’s sports biz for $18.68 mn less than original deal price of $385 mn

[Image: Sony-and-ZEEL-cover.jpg]MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has completed the acquisition of the sports broadcasting business of Zee Entertainment Enterprises for $366.32 million, paying $18.68 million less than the original deal price.

In the second and final tranche, Sony paid $36.32 million to close the transaction. Earlier, Sony had paid $330 million in the first phase of its acquisition of ZEEL’s sports broadcasting business.

In August 2016, Sony had signed an agreement with ZEEL to buy the latter’s sports broadcasting business for $385 million (Rs 2578 crore).

Explaining the decline in the original deal value, ZEEL said that the adjustment is mainly due to retention of a leasehold immovable property at Dubai (which earlier formed part of the transaction) by Taj TV, Mauritius and certain working capital adjustments of the sports business as per the terms of agreement.

Since certain condition precedents relating to the closure of the second phase of the transaction was taking time, ZEEL said both the companies mutually concluded closure of the transaction upon receipt of remittance of $36.32 million from SPNI.

The first phase of the transaction comprised the sale of ZEEL’s entire stake in Taj India and transfer of major part of sports broadcasting business of Taj Mauritius. ZEEL’s sports broadcasting business was housed under subsidiaries Taj TV Ltd, Mauritius (Taj Mauritius) and Taj Television (India) Pvt Ltd (Taj India).

Following the completion of the first phase of acquisition, SPNI added Ten 1, Ten 2, Ten 3, Ten 1 HD and Ten Golf HD. In July, SPNI re-branded these channels as Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 1 HD and Sony Ten Golf HD. Sony also launched HD versions of Sony Ten 2 and Sony Ten 3 to complete the HD bouquet.

Recently, Sony lost the Indian Premier League (IPL) TV rights to Star India. In the new auction, Star acquired the global media rights of the IPL for a whopping Rs 16,347.5 crore for a period of five years till 2022. Sony had acquired the TV rights for Indian subcontinent till 2017 for Rs 8,200 crore.

Sensing a tough IPL bid, Sony had acquired Ten Sports to strengthen its sports business. The acquisition of Ten Sports gave Sony properties like WWE, UEFA Champions League, and five cricket boards including South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.


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