Zee board rejects Invesco’s demand to hold EGM to remove Puneet

Zee board rejects Invesco’s demand to hold EGM to remove Puneet

Taking a confrontational stand against its largest shareholder, the Zee board on Friday rejected its demand to hold an extraordinary general meeting to remove the current MD and CEO, Puneet Goenka, and induct its nominees.

In a statement to the stock exchanges, Zee said its board deliberated and discussed the various legal and statutory implications of the demand notice.

The company said the board sought the opinion of independent counsel, legal experts, including senior retired Supreme Court judges, and assessed the matter in a fair and transparent manner. “In its meeting held on 1 October 2021, the Board has concluded that the demand is invalid and illegal; and has accordingly expressed its inability to convene the Extraordinary General Meeting to Invesco Developing Markets Funds and OFI Global China Fund, LLC,” it added. .

"The Board has arrived at this decision citing various non-compliances under several laws, including Securities and Exchange Board of India guidelines, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting guidelines and key clauses under the Companies Act and the Competition Act, and it Keeping in view the interests of all the shareholders and stakeholders of the company after taking the decision, the company cannot comment on any future course of action as the matter is sub-judice, it said.

Legal experts say the move will result in a legal battle as Invesco has already moved. 

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the court had asked G to convene a meeting to consider the EGM. The NCLT will hear the matter again on Monday.

Bankers say a fund backed by Oppenheimer is an option before Invesco to sell its shares to another rival TV network company and make a counter-offer to the incoming shareholder for the Zee-Sony transaction.

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