Entertainment major ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) shares plunged 8.7% today amid a non-executive non-independent director's withdrawal from his re-appointment as the director of the company ahead of its annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for Saturday, December 16, at 4.00 pm (IST).

Zee in a stock exchange filing says: "The company has received a letter from Mr. Adesh Kumar Gupta intimating his intention not to continue as a director of the Company after the upcoming annual general meeting ('AGM)...(he) will cease to be a Member of Audit Committee, and Chairman of Risk Management Committee and Stakeholders Relationship Committee of the Board after the AGM."

In his resignation, Gupta wished the company "great success" and hoped its merger with Sony would be completed at the earliest.

The ZEE shares opened a gap up at ₹286.05 and surged to an intra-day low of ₹259.10 before recovering losses and settling at ₹278.25 on the BSE. At the current share price, ZEEL's m-cap stands at ₹26,726.45 crore.

The Zee shares are currently trading 7% down from its 52-week high of ₹299.5 touched on December 12, 2023, and 38% up from the 52-week low of ₹172.25 touched on June 20, 2023.

The shares of TV broadcasting & software production company have seen a 12.01% rise in the past month, while the share price grew 7.63% in the past year. In the six-month and year-to-date period, the share price saw 48.98% and 14.36% rise, respectively.

In its annual report released last month, ZEEL CEO Punit Goenka said the merger proposal between Zee and Culver Max Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (earlier known as Sony Networks India) has received clearance from the key regulatory authorities and National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai. "The Company will continue to take the next steps in accordance with the law."

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) in October had set aside an order barring Goenka from holding key managerial positions in the company and other associated firms. It directed Goenka to cooperate with the SEBI investigation being carried out.

Goenka earlier challenged the SEBI order, which barred its promoters Subash Chandra and Punit Goenka from taking managerial roles in any of the Zee group companies.

Notably, the NCLT in August 2023 gave its approval to the much-awaited merger proposal of media & entertainment major Zee Entertainment with Sony (now known as Culver Max Entertainment).

The deal was announced in December 2021 to merge the two big entities to create the largest entertainment network in the country. However, ZEE faced several hurdles and delays due to ongoing legal battles with capital markets regulator SEBI.

In September 2023, IDBI Bank and Axis Finance, too, filed appeals before the NCLAT (National Company Law Appellate Tribunal), Delhi, challenging the NCLT approval for the merger.

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