Rejected Invesco proposal as shareholder value was being compromised: Punit Goenka

In a note, MD of ZEEL says that the communications pertaining to Invesco proposals are well-documented, and they speak contrary to the stance taken by the firm

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Oct 14, 2021 7:09 PM
Punit Goenka

ZEEL MD and CEO Punit Goenka has broken his silence on the ongoing dispute between the management and Invesco, the single largest shareholder in the company. In an official statement, Punit said that the reason behind issuing the Board Note was to bring the truth out in the public. He also said that Invesco proposal was rejected as shareholder value was being compromised. He further said that the merger deal between Reliance Industries' media entities and ZEEL was not in the interest of the company's shareholders. "Why didn’t Invesco make its plans public earlier? Does good corporate governance only apply to corporates and not their institutional investors?“ he questioned.

“During my briefing to the Board, I emphasised on the points pertaining to the proposal from Invesco. My attention was on the imbalance observed in the valuation and how it was not in the best interest of our shareholders. The only reason I did not agree to the proposal was because the shareholder value was getting compromised. I will withstand any amount of pressure to preserve ZEE’s intrinsic value and ensure that nothing impacts the returns being delivered to all the shareholders,” he said in an official statement today.

Punit noted that this will be his first and last communication on the ongoing imbroglio with Invesco. “Silence may be the best answer at times, but I have realised that in certain situations it is better to break it at the right time, so that truth comes to the fore. I have been compelled to break my silence on the ongoing matter, and this is the reason that I am writing this note today. I have always been extremely transparent in all my communications and vide this statement, I would like to share my thoughts about the current situation. That said, I truly hope that this will be my first and last communication on this matter, so that we can focus on our value-creation journey at ZEE.”

While acknowledging that Invesco has been an extremely strong support to the company, Punit said he is pained to see this relationship going sour today and the unfortunate circumstances that everyone is facing. He also said that his single-minded aim is build ZEEL into a strong organisation.

“My demeanour is not to indulge in an ill-natured fight. Such battles are best handled by legal experts. All I am contending for, is to preserve the future of this Company, and not my position. This fight is to ensure the Company continues to gain immense growth opportunities and become a stronger and more formidable player in the Media & Entertainment sector. We should not let anyone impact the future of ZEE or diminish the shareholder value it has been consistently generating over the years,” he said.

Punit said that the key reason for him to present the series of communications exchanged with Invesco to the Board of Directors of ZEE, was to bring the truth out in the interest of all our stakeholders. He also questioned whether good corporate governance only apply to corporates and not their institutional investors.

"I acknowledge the stance that has been taken by Invesco, but communications pertaining to such proposals are always well-documented, and they speak to the contrary. I too have a lot of points to put across, but I firmly believe that there is a right time and place for it. Our lawyers will do the needful in the court of law, as deemed necessary. But on a personal note, I have some questions as well. Why didn’t Invesco make its plans public earlier? Does good corporate governance only apply to corporates and not their institutional investors? As a law-abiding citizen and a representative of a responsible corporate citizen, I have and repose complete faith in the Indian judicial and regulatory system and hence I am most certain that these questions will be answered for all of us,” Punit noted.

Punit also asserted that ZEEL will ensure that no one maligns the intrinsic value of the company for their own benefit, and he will continue to pursue this in the best interests of shareholders, even if it comes at an immense personal costs. “In this situation, it is not about one versus the other. The shareholders and management of a Company are two sides of the same coin. It is all about increasing the value of that coin together, for the betterment of all the shareholders and the Company at large. Under the guidance of the Board and in line with the advice sought from our legal counsel, I will continue to take the required steps to safeguard ZEE and its future. Ultimately, truth is mighty, and my hope is that in the end, it is only truth and justice that will prevail.”

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