September 30, 2021 3:28:41 am
Invesco Developing Markets Fund, a foreign portfolio investor in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), has moved the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in an ongoing tussle with the media firm. The move comes after ZEEL failed to hold an EGM to seek shareholders’ nod to remove certain directors, including Punit Goenka.
At present, Goenka — son of Essel Group founder and chairman Subhash Chandra — is the chief executive and managing director at ZEEL. Further, the fund had sought induction of its nominees on ZEEL’s board. The petition, which has been listed with the NCLT Mumbai bench, is slated to come up for hearing on Thursday.
A ZEEL spokesperson said: “The board of the company remains committed to act within the framework of law and is focused towards enhancing the company’s growth and shareholder value. It is in the process of taking the required steps within the statutory period. The company does not wish to comment on any impulsive or premature steps taken by Invesco Developing Markets Funds and OFI Global China Fund”.
Invesco (formerly Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund) — which holds a 17.88 per cent stake in ZEEL together with its subsidiary OFI Global China Fund — earlier too asked ZEEL to convene an EGM. Apart from ouster of directors, whom Invesco said were in breach of corporate governance norms, the fund had sought a reconstitution of the present board.
In its earlier letters dated September 11 and September 23, Invesco had asked ZEEL to adhere to its fiduciary duties and statutory obligations and convene an EGM. A listed company has to announce an EGM date within three weeks of a request from an investor holding 10 per cent or more stake. In case of ZEEL failing to announce an EGM date within the stipulated time, Invesco can call for an EGM.
The move followed a board approval by ZEEL for merger with rival Sony Pictures Networks India, an arm of Japan’s Sony Corp, to create India’s largest media and entertainment company.
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