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invesco: Rebuffing merger plan irked Invesco: Zee MD


MUMBAI: Zee Entertainment MD Punit Goenka has alleged that the company’s largest investor Invesco’s move to remove him from the board is to “teach me a lesson” for rebuffing its merger proposal with the media arm of a large Indian conglomerate. In a 25-page affidavit filed with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Goenka said Invesco’s move for a board reshuffle was “calculated”, with an intent to “control the company”, “disturb the existing management” and to “sabotage the proposed merger with Sony Pictures”. Besides the removal of Goenka, Invesco has sought the induction of multiple independent directors on the board of Zee. Goenka didn’t name the Indian conglomerate in his affidavit but Invesco had previously revealed that it had facilitated talks between the Zee MD and Reliance Industries. Goenka said he rejected Invesco’s merger proposal as it would have resulted in a massive loss to Zee shareholders in the absence of any valuation reports. Goenka revealed that during his calls with the Indian conglomerate’s representatives, he was told that if he sought information on valuation, they would not be interested in the merger. “In short, I was told that since no money was coming out of my pocket and my position (as MD in the proposed merged entity) was being secured, I should not be asking any questions and should focus on getting the deal done.” The MD further said that he was told that if he was unwilling to move forward, then Invesco would take steps to ensure the deal would have to be consummated without him. NCLT will hear the matter on October 26.

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