Zee Entertainment Enterprises said on Wednesday the company’s top shareholders have called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the company.
Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC have filed a petition with the National Company Law Tribunal’s Mumbai bench, Zee said in a stock exchange filing, Reuters reported from Bengaluru.
As earlier reported by Indianbroadcastingworld.com, Zee’s top shareholders — the home grown media company started by media moghul Subhash Chandra is now run by a clutch of investors — have been demanding a series of changes in the company’s governance, including removal of some top executives.
However, what is being termed as a masterstroke from the now ousted Chandra, whose family holding in Zee hovers around 4 percent presently, the company earlier this month announced a merger with Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI).
In the merged entity, which will have to go through various regulatory approvals before being formalized, Zee’s present MD & CEO Punit Goenka would continue to head the company, it was announced.
In the merged entity, Zee will hold 47.07 percent, while Sony will hold the balance of 52.93 percent.
A statement from Zee had said that its Board had evaluated the deal not only on financial parameters, but also on the strategic value that the partner brings to the table. The Board concluded that the “merger will be in the best interest of all the shareholders and stakeholders”.
The shareholders of SPNI would also infuse growth capital into SPNI so that USD1.575 billion is available for use in pursuing other growth opportunities, the statement had said.
Both the companies have entered into a non-binding term sheet to combine both companies’ linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries. The term sheet provides an exclusive period of 90 days during which ZEEL and SPNI will conduct mutual diligence and finalize definitive agreement(s). The merged entity will be a publicly listed company in India.
Commenting on the announced deal, author, columnist and Business Standard Consulting Vanita Kohli-Khandekar in a LinkedIn post had said: “The possible merger of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited creates a broadcast entity with almost 30 percent share of TV viewing in India and Rs. 19,000 crore in topline. That pushed it firmly ahead of The Walt Disney Company’s Star TV Network. Watch out for more deals as others try to go over Rs. 10,000 crore revenue mark.”