2021 kicked off with media conglomerates announcing mergers and acquisitions. Earlier this year, AT&T merged WarnerMedia with Discovery, and very recently, Amazon made the headlines with its acquisition of MGM Studios for $8.45bn.
And now, Mint has reported that Viacom18 and Zee Entertainment are in early merger talks, that the discussions are said to have started a few weeks back, and that only a swap deal is being discussed, with no monetary transaction likely to take place. It will be recalled that last year, Viacom18 had explored a merger with Sony Pictures Network India, till talks were finally called off.
Zee owns 48 channels in India and 120 channels worldwide across 170 countries, while Viacom18 runs 50 channels, including VH1, Nickelodeon, MTV, Colors TV and a range of other regional language entertainment channels. Mint reports that if the merger does take place, Viacom18 could become among the largest shareholders of the combined entity as more than 65% of ZEEL is owned by foreign institutional investors.
The merger between Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd, the parent company of Colors general entertainment channel and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd could produce a large media firm with verticals spanning broadcast, OTT, live entertainment and movie production.
Read the Mint Story here