Zeel-Invesco Tussle: NCLT seeks Zeel’s reply, next hearing on Thursday

  •  October 6,2021 By IndianTelevision Team

New Delhi: The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has asked Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) to file its reply to the petition filed by its investors -  Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund IIC and posted the matter for the next hearing on Thursday.

One of its top investors–Invesco and OFI Global China Fund IIC had approached NCLT last week, after Zeel did not announce the date of an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) as sought by them through a requisition notice sent on 11 September. According to Invesco, the Company is mandated to honour the request of EGM if so demanded by shareholders who own more than 10 per cent of the stake in the Company.

However, Zeel has not only expressed inability to convene the EGM, but it has also moved the Bombay high court against Invesco’s requisition notice, seeking to declare it “invalid”.

“As per the decision taken by the Board of the Company, which was communicated on October 1, 2021, and as per their guidance, the Company has already moved to the Bombay high court to declare that the requisition notice sent by Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC is invalid,” said the Zeel spokesperson. The Company further maintained that “it will continue to take all the necessary steps that are in the best interest of all its shareholders and as per the applicable law.”

The investors had called for an EGM of the shareholders seeking removal of its sitting MD Punit Goenka, and long-standing directors and close associates of the Chandra family from the Board. The two independent directors Ashok Kurien and Manish Chokhani had submitted their resignations a day prior.

The investors had also sought the appointment of their own six nominees on the board of Zeel, which included Surendra Singh Sirohi, Naina Krishna Murthy, Rohan Dhamija, Aruna Sharma, Srinivasa Rao Addepalli, Gaurav Mehta as independent directors on the board for a term of up to five consecutive years. The special notice was received by Zeel on 12 September, and it informed the stock exchanges on 13 September, adding that the appointments are subject to the approval of the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B). Last week, it informed the exchange filing that it will not convene the EGM, as the notice is "invalid and illegal."