October 15, 2021 3:11:45 am
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) MD and CEO Punit Goenka on Thursday questioned Invesco Developing Markets Fund, ZEEL’s largest investor, for not disclosing the Reliance merger plan earlier and not following good corporate governance.
“Why didn’t Invesco make its plans public earlier? Does good corporate governance only apply to corporates and not their institutional investors?” Goenka said in a statement. Coming down on Invesco, he said, “I acknowledge the stance that has been taken by Invesco, but communications pertaining to such proposals are always well-documented, and they speak to the contrary.”
Hinting that he will take legal recourse, Goenka said, “I too have a lot of points to put across, but I firmly believe that there is a right time and place for it. Our lawyers will do the needful in the court of law, as deemed necessary.”
“As a law-abiding citizen and a representative of a responsible corporate citizen, I have and repose complete faith in the Indian judicial and regulatory system and hence I am most certain that these questions will be answered for all of us,” the ZEEL MD and CEO said.
On Wednesday, Invesco revealed that the Reliance group had negotiated with Zee group promoter family and Goenka for a takeover or merger deal for ZEEL, and admitted that its role “was to help facilitate that potential transaction and nothing more”.
“We will ensure that no one maligns the intrinsic value of this company for their own benefit, and I continue to pursue this in the best interests of all our shareholders, and at immense personal costs,” Goenka said. adding “In this situation, it is not about one versus the other. The shareholders and management of a company are two sides of the same coin.”
Goenka said it is all about increasing the value of that coin together, for betterment of all shareholders and the company at large. “Under the guidance of the board and in line with the advice sought from our legal counsel, I will continue to take the required steps to safeguard Zee and its future. Ultimately, truth is mighty and my hope is that in the end, it is only truth and justice that will prevail.”
“I will withstand any amount of pressure to preserve ZEE’s intrinsic value and ensure that nothing impacts the returns being delivered to all the shareholders,” Goenka said.
In a note to the ZEEL board earlier, he had said that the valuation attributed to entities belonging to the strategic group was inflated by at least Rs 10,000 crore. “During my briefing to the board, I emphasised on the points pertaining to the proposal from Invesco. My attention was on the imbalance observed in the valuation and how it was not in the best interest of our shareholders. The only reason I did not agree to the proposal was because the shareholder value was getting compromised.”
Unfortunately, the way the current situation is unfolding is what disappoints me, he said. “My demeanour is not to indulge in an ill-natured fight. Such battles are best handled by legal experts. All I am contending for, is to preserve the future of this company, and not my position,” Goenka said.
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