Fight with Invesco is to preserve company, CEO of India’s Zee says

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MUMBAI, Oct 14 (Businesshala) – The TV network’s battle with top shareholder Invesco is to preserve the company’s future and ensure it becomes a more formidable one in the country’s media industry, the head of India’s Zee said on Thursday. emerged as a player.

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Invesco holds about 18% shares of Zee Entertainment Enterprises through two funds and is pushing for an overhaul of top management and board of directors ahead of its planned merger with a local unit of Japan’s Sony Group Corp.

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Invesco has objected to certain terms of the Sony deal, which gives Zee’s founding family, including the Goenkas, the option to increase their stake in the merged company to 20% from their current 4% in Zee.

Invesco described the way Zee founders raised stake in the new company as “opaque” and said it would hurt other shareholders.

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Both sides are locked in a bitter legal battle and have been cursing each other almost daily.

Zee CEO Puneet Goenka, making his first public statement in the controversy, said, “We will ensure that no one tarnishes the intrinsic value of this company for their own benefit, and I will pursue this in the best interest of all our shareholders.” I continue.” Invesco.

On Wednesday, Invesco said it had facilitated talks between India’s Reliance Industries and Zee earlier this year for a possible merger.

But it also rejected Zee’s claim that its opposition to Sony’s current deal is “contrary to the deal proposed by Invesco.”

Zee founder and Goenka’s father Subhash Chandra has accused Invesco of hatching a hostile takeover conspiracy and the media company has said the US firm’s demand was not motivated by concerns about corporate governance or business.

On Thursday, Goenka said he did not agree to the deal with Reliance as the shareholder value would be compromised.

“My focus was on the imbalance seen in valuations and that was not in the best interest of our shareholders,” he said.

Invesco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It has previously said it would not make a deal that would be bad for shareholders. (Reporting by Nupur Anand in Mumbai and Sankalp Fartiyal in New Delhi; Editing)

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