Zee’s Subhash Chandra questions Invesco’s motive in calling for EGM

Ayushi Kar Mumbai | Updated on October 06, 2021

Subhash Chandra   -  Businessline

TV network moves appellate tribunal challenging NCLT order

Essel Group Chairman and Zee promoter Subhash Chandra on Wednesday questioned the motive behind Invesco’s move to call for an extraordinary general meeting.

“Invesco is not transparently telling the shareholders, who will they give the management reigns to once they remove Punit Goenka from the board…….Have they done a deal with another company? What is the background of the six directors whom they want to nominate? Do they (the 6 directors nominated by Invesco) have any association with a company, and want to take over management?,” Chandra said in a televised message. According to Chandra, Invesco should clearly come out and let the shareholders decide, whether they want to side with Invesco or go with the Zee-Sony merger deal.

Meanwhile, Zee upped its ante on Wednesday, filing a petition with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) challenging the National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) order that asked the company to respond by Thursday to Invesco's demand to hold an extraordinary general meeting. Invesco is seeking the EGM to remove promoter and MD, Punit Goenka from the board, as well as nominate six additional independent directors to the company’s board. It was the opinion of the NCLT Bench that the matter must be decided on quickly since more than half of the 45-day time period to call for an EGM had elapsed. The Bench gave the company two days to file their final replies. Zee has appealed to NCLAT for more time.

Open to rival offers

Meanwhile, Zee Chairman R Gopalan said while the Zee-Sony merger is the best deal, the company is open to rival offers. “This is the best deal for shareholders at this point in time as we are interested in the maximisation of values for all our stakeholders including shareholders, the company and consuming public,” Gopalan told Bloomberg.

The conflict between Punit Goenka and Invesco became public on September 11 when Invesco, in a letter to Zee, requested for an extraordinary general meeting to remove Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Punit Goenka from Zee’s board. Invesco sought the removal of two other directors as well and vote on six additional directors to the board during the EGM. The next day, on September 12, Zee announced a plan to merge with Sony Pictures. Invesco has insisted on an EGM stating that it wants the shareholders to decide on the deal.

Published on October 06, 2021

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