Invesco wanted to merge Zee with another Indian entity: Goenka

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on October 12, 2021

Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises   -  Businessline

Punit Goenka, Managing Director and CEO of Zee Entertainment, on Tuesday hit back at Invesco alleging that the American investment company wanted to merge Zee with another Indian company without consulting the board.

In a detailed note to Zee’s board, Goenka disclosed the details of a proposal sent by Invesco in which the unnamed Indian company would have become the majority shareholder of Zee. On February 23, Aroon Balani and Bhavtosh Vajpayee, representatives of Invesco Developing Markets Fund, presented this deal to Goenka.

“This was the first time that Invesco informed me about the merger deal and the fact that a public shareholder was negotiating a merger deal on behalf of the company without any authority or involvement of the board and management, took me by surprise,” Goenka wrote in the note.

‘No room to negotiate’

“I was told that Invesco had already finalised the key commercial terms of the merger with the strategic group and there was no room to negotiate. I made repeated requests to both Aroon Balani and Bhavtosh Vajpayee for details in relation to the valuation of the entities involved in the merger and the rationale for the commercial deal terms. However, all my efforts were rebuffed,” he added.

Goenka said he was asked to consummate the deal within just five days.

“The valuation attributed to the counterparty’s merging entities was grossly inflated without any justification provided for the same, which would be prejudicial to the shareholders of the company,” he said.

“In light of the above, I believe that the manner in which Invesco conducted itself leads to violations of various laws including securities laws,” Goenka said.

Published on October 12, 2021

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