On 11th September 2021, Invesco sent a requisition to the ZEE Entertainment Enterprises seeking an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the stakeholders of the company to unseat and remove the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Punit Goenka along with two other directors, supported by the induction of six independent directors for the reconstitution of the ZEE Entertainment Enterprises company’s board.
Subhash Chandra, the founder and chairman of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises, while talking to ZEE News, said that Invesco is the largest investor in the company as of today, but they should also realize the fact that they are mere shareholders in the company and not the real and sole owners and directors of the company. He strongly believes and puts it out in the open that the real owners of the ZEE Entertainment Enterprises company are the two and a half Lakh public stakeholders and not Invesco or even Mr. Punit Goenka.
Chairman Subhash Chandra’s recent statement caused a lot of buzz in the media as he went on call the way Invesco’s takeover was illegal and clandestine. He clearly stated to ZEE News that what they (Invesco`s team) are trying is to take over the company in an illegal manner. They are hiding behind the provisions of the Companies Act of 2013, but they are forgetting that the broadcasting sector is also governed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) and there are clear and laid down rules of any takeover attempt. Chandra recalled that how this is not the first time or any first attempt for an international company to take over ZEE Entertainment Enterprises.
He went on to say in the same interview while talking to ZEE News that back in the year 1994, he, as the founder and chairman of the company was offered $500 Million by an international media production company. He went on to tell the media company owner by gently denying the offer that India is not for sale.
He went on to claim that Invesco is not doing the takeover in the right manner and if they want the process to be simple and convenient for all, they have to it in the right way. Subhash Chandra in his personal opinion believes that Invesco has agreed and is working upon an inside deal either in a written way or verbal way without naming that particular partner.
The chairman personally suggests the team of Invesco to come out and present this deal as well in front of the stakeholders and then provide them with an opportuinity to decide that if they want and accept the take over. If yes, then they can make an open offering to the remaining 75% stakeholders and if they agree, they can conveniently buy them out. No one can stop them, but they shall not try to do the same illegally.
Government and also all the other regulatory bodies will have to take Cognisance of the matter and see Invesco’s actions as a takeover attempt,’’ he said while concluding his interview with Zee News and elaborating upon his views upon the recent incidents that are happening in his company.
The problem is being tackled by the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The ZEE Entertainment Enterprises has also filed a civil lawsuit against Invesco in the Bombay High Court in the hope for a fair and correct direction to declare the notice and requisition sent over by Invesco to ZEE Entertainment Enterprises as invalid (null and void) on grounds of multiple legal infirmities.
Meanwhile, The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) asked National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to allow ZEE Entertainment Enterprises ‘‘sufficient and reasonable opportunity and time’’ to respond to Invesco’s requisition. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) believes that National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has made a huge blunder and mistake by not allowing and giving ZEE Entertainment Enterprises enough time and opportunity to think before making such a big decision and believes that this is a big violation of NCLT’s rules and principles of justice which can also lead to a bad example for the others in future.