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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

ZEEL refuses to hold EGM, calls Invesco request ‘invalid, illegal’

The company said its board had sought opinions of independent counsel, legal experts including senior retired Supreme Court judges and evaluated the matter in a fair and transparent manner.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai |
Updated: October 2, 2021 12:44:04 pm

Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) on Friday said it would not be able to convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), as the company’s board has found the requisitions made by its top foreign investor to be “invalid and illegal”.

The company said its board had sought opinions of independent counsel, legal experts including senior retired Supreme Court judges and evaluated the matter in a fair and transparent manner.

In its meeting on Friday, the board of ZEEL arrived at a conclusion that the requisition was invalid and illegal. Accordingly, it conveyed its inability to convene the EGM to Invesco Developing Markets Funds and OFI Global China Fund, LLC. Citing “multiple legal infirmities,” ZEEL said the move comes ahead of the next hearing in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Monday.

The ZEEL board said it arrived at this decision by referring to various non-compliances under Sebi and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting guidelines and Companies Act, among others. It has also taken into account interest of all shareholders and stakeholders of the company, it added. “Accordingly, in the best interests of the company as a whole, including all its shareholders and stakeholders, we express our inability to convene the EGM,” ZEEL said.

In its September 11 requisition letter, Invesco had sought convening an EGM to remove managing director and chief executive officer Punit Goenka, and non-executive directors Ashok Kurien and Manish Chokhani, alleging breach of corporate governance norms.

Invesco (formerly Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund), which together with its subsidiary OFI Global China Fund holds a 17.88 per cent stake in ZEEL, had also sought appointment of its six members on ZEEL’s board.

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