RPT-UPDATE 2-India’s Zee accuses Invesco of double standards in Sony merger

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(Repeat Story originally published October 12, no changes) (adds description and background)

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NEW DELHI, Oct 12 (Businesshala) – India’s Zee said on Tuesday that top shareholder Invesco’s opposition to the TV network’s proposed merger with Sony’s India arm is hypocritical as the US investment firm agreed to on similar terms earlier this year. had made a deal with.

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In a statement disclosing that offer for the first time, Zee Entertainment Enterprises said in a statement, “Invesco’s stand… is contrary to the deal that Invesco itself had proposed a few months back.”

In February Invesco, which owns about 18% of Zee through two funds, tried to amalgamate the media firm with “some entities owned by a large Indian conglomerate”, thereby merging Zee CEO Puneet Goenka. Gone company, Zee would have been allowed to lead. said.

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That deal would also have given Zee’s founding family a higher stake of up to 8% in the new company, a move Invesco has opposed an impending merger with Sony.

Mumbai-headquartered Zee said Invesco was pushing for the deal, although its management team found that the Indian group’s entities could be valued at at least 100 billion rupees ($1.33 billion).

Invesco, which is now seeking Goenka’s removal and board reforms, previously wrote several letters acknowledging his “reputation, experience and potential as a professional” and his reappointment as CEO in September 2020. Voted in favor of the appointment, Zee said.

Invesco has also proposed changes in the board of Zee. Zee said Invesco’s demand was not driven by the company’s business or desire to serve the public interest.

Invesco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Invesco’s protests bleak prospects for the Sony deal, which prompted a sharp rise in Zee’s share price in September. As part of the deal, Sony India will control around 53% of the merged company.

Invesco has objected to certain terms of the Sony deal that gives Zee’s founding family, including Goenka, an option to raise their stake to 20% from the current 4% in an “opaque” manner that would hurt other shareholders.

Reporting resolution of $1 = 75.4330 INR by Fartiyal; Editing by Edmund Blair, Cynthia Osterman and David Gregorio

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