New Delhi: The boardroom battle involving Invesco Fund and OFI Global Fund China, the 18 per cent shareholder in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), and the ZEE Group founded by Subhash Chandra has now landed in court with the former moving the National Company Law Tribunal to pressurise the latter to call an extraordinary general (EGM) meeting of shareholders to induct its nominees on the company’s board.
Invesco and OFI Global had recently moved the NCLT under Section 98 (1) & 100 and sought its intervention to get ZEEL to call an EGM. Apart from inducting its nominee on the board, Invesco also wants shareholders’ nod at the EGM to remove ZEEL’s current CEO and MD, Punit Goenka.
Goenka is the son of Essel group patriarch, Dr Subhash Chandra, and the family currently owns only 4 per cent stake in the company. In response, the board of Zee Entertainment Enterprises concluded that the EGM requisition by key shareholder Invesco is not valid, “as it suffers from multiple legal infirmities.”
The decision, part of a communication to investors Invesco and OFI Global China Fund, was disclosed to the stock exchanges on October 1. The NCLT is expected to hear Invesco’s petition on Thursday.
Invesco’s move to petition the NCLT is also being seen as a ploy to block ZEEL from reaching an agreement with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) for merging the entity with it and Punit Goenka heading the newly merged entity.
Bringing the matter to the public domain for the first time, ZEEL founder Dr Subhash Chandra appeared on Zee News Editor-In-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary’s prime time show DNA and posed some very tough questions to Invesco and accused it of trying to take over the ZEE group in a clandestine manner. While addressing all issues related to the recent ZEEL-SPNI deal, Dr Chandra made an appeal to the authorities to take stock of the situation and probe its dubious China connection.
A visibly emotional Zee Group patriarch reiterated that 2.5 lakh investors of ZEEL are its real owners and not Invesco, stating that the investment management firm should behave like one.
What is Invesco known for?
Invesco Ltd. is an American independent investment management company that is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, and has branch offices in 20 countries. Its common stock is a constituent of the S&P 500 and trades on the New York stock exchange.
This Atlanta-based independent investment management firm is dedicated to delivering an investment experience that helps people get more out of life.
Invesco acquired Oppenheimer Funds in 2018. OFI Global is an Invesco subsidiary. Last year, Dr Chandra’s Essel Group sold Zee Entertainment shares to these very funds in publicly disclosed transactions.
Invesco was founded in Atlanta in 1978 when Citizens & Southern National Bank divested its money management operations.
In 1988, the company was purchased by the British firm Britannia Arrow, based in London, which later named it INVESCO.
Since 2000, Invesco has grown through acquisitions such as the ETF firm PowerShares Capital Management and the restructuring of WL Ross & Co.
In May 2007 the company changed its name to Invesco PLC and moved its primary stock market listing from the London Stock Exchange to the NYSE and became domiciled in Bermuda, adopting the name Invesco Ltd.
In November 2007, Invesco moved its headquarters from London to Atlanta.
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