Punit Goenka: There was ‘valuation imbalance’ in earlier merger proposal
2 months ago 05:59:39am

Punit Goenka: There was ‘valuation imbalance’ in earlier merger proposal

New Delhi, 13-November-2021, By IBW Team

Zee: Merger process with Sony on scheduled timelines

Punit Goenka, the soft-spoken chief of Zee Entertainment, on Thursday said he did not agree to an earlier merger proposal brought in by foreign investor Invesco as there was imbalance in valuations of the two companies and shareholders’ interest was “getting compromised”.

“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 (merger) proposal (earlier brought in by Invesco) was because the shareholder value was getting compromised,” Goenka said in a letter.

Invesco holds nearly 18 percent of Zee Entertainment Enterprises’ shares via two funds and is pushing for an overhaul of top management and the Board of directors ahead of its planned merger with Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), an Indian business arm of Japan’s Sony Group.

“We will ensure that no one maligns the intrinsic value of this company for their own benefit, and I continue to pursue this in the best interests of all our shareholders,” Goenka said, which incidentally is also his first public statement in a corporate dispute that’s playing out under full public glare.

Pointing out that up to an extent Invesco had been supportive of Zee’s vision, Goenka added: “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.”

Both Zee and Invesco had earlier countered each other’s statements with Reliance Industries on Wednesday too forced to clarify as its name was dragged into the feud. Reliance admitted that earlier in the year it was in talks with Zee for a merger, which could not go through as the other entity and its foreign investor were in disagreement on certain points.

Invesco had dismissed Zee’s claims that its opposition to the current Sony deal “runs contrary to the very deal Invesco was proposing”.

Expressing his disappointment at the way “current situation is unfolding”, Goenka stressed: “All I want is a better tomorrow for ZEE, one that is filled with higher returns and value for shareholders and immense growth opportunities for the Company and its people. But one, that is also formed with utmost honesty, transparency and positivity.”

Earlier reports by Indianbroadcastingworld.com  on the Zee-Invesco saga can be read here: http://www.indianbroadcastingworld.com/reliance-admits-was-in-talks/ and http://www.indianbroadcastingworld.com/zee-accuses-invesco-for-hypocrisy/

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