Invesco reeks of impropriety, is there a Chinese conspiracy against ZEEL-Sony mega-merger?


New Delhi: Following the mega-merger announcement between ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and Sony Pictures Networks India, some media houses have been lately been publishing baseless and hollow reports against ZEEL and especially against Punit Goenka as he will continue as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ZEEL.

However, a recent fact-laden statement by Dr Subhash Chandra – Founder, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited, has posed some really tough questions for Invesco who is believed to be acting at someone’s behest –pointing all fingers on China. 

The needle of suspicion on Invesco is highlighted by the way the latter has been acting for the past few days with respect to ZEEL-Sony deal. The severity of suspicion is so much that it gives rise to a question on whether or not Invesco is a puppet of China’s conspiracy against ZEEL-Sony mega merger. ZEEL is an honored crown for India’s General Entertainment Channel (GEC) space. It seems that China is not able to accept the fact and hence it might be using Invesco as its puppet, thus hatching the conspiracy against ZEEL-Sony mega-merger. 

Lately, some media reports have been falsely citing Invesco’s version to take on ZEEL MD & CEO Punit Goenka, though everything seems fabricated as these reports have failed terribly in their mala fide attempt to malign the image of esteemed organisation – ZEEL and its MD & CEO Punit Goenka. (Also read: ZEEL-Sony Pictures merger: Here’s why the deal is extremely profitable for shareholders, stakeholders)

Dr Subhash Chandra –  himself has come forward to clear the air on Invesco, ZEEL and Punit Goenka, thus making it clear that these baseless reports are far away from reality and only intends to malign the reputation of the organisation and the person at the helm. 

Dr Subhash Chandra’s facts-laden statement leaves no room for any confusion and highlights the dubious intention of the media publishers, who have been levelling false and baseless comments on ZEEL. (Also read: ZEEL-Sony merger: Punit Goenka to remain MD and CEO of unified entity)

Commenting on the entire matter, Dr Subhash Chandra, said, “No matter who runs ZEEL but the company, to which I’ve and many of my friends have given their blood and sweat for the past 30 years, should be in the hands of someone under whose leadership the organisation should prosper and shareholders should be benefitted since I don’t have any profit or loss associated with this.”

Furthering more about the Invesco, Dr Chandra said, “Invesco is a good investor but in this case of ZEEL they are not revealing that what they will do after taking ZEEL, and in whose hands management will go?”

“You want to remove Punit Goenka? Okay, fine but what next? Have you done any deal with someone? The 6 directors given by them – what’s their background? Do they have any relation with any particular company that wants to take over? Hence, Invesco should come out transparently and openly, and let the shareholders decide – whether they want to take the deal of Invesco or want to go with Sony’s deal, “Dr Chandra said posing some really tough questions to Invesco.

On the regulators, Dr Chandra said, “The first and prime responsibility of the regulators is to protect the interest minority shareholders. So, they should ask Invesco that it should come out transparently. And, regulators should make sure that minority shareholders have both the things in hand to decide whether to vote for Invesco or Sony’s deal with ZEEL.”

The Board of Directors of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) in its board meeting held on 21st September 2021, had unanimously provided in-principle approval for the merger between Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and ZEEL.  

The Board had evaluated not only on financial parameters but also on the strategic value which the partner brings to the table. The Board had concluded that the merger will be in the best interest of all the shareholders and stakeholders.

Punit Goenka will continue as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) after the merger of Zee Entertainment and Sony Pictures India.  

The Board had authorised the management of ZEEL to activate the required due diligence process. The shareholders of SPNI, will hold a majority stake in the merged entity.  The shareholders of SPNI will also infuse growth capital into SPNI as part of the merger such that SPNI has approximately $1.575 billion at closing, for use in pursuing other growth opportunities.

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