Reliance Industries on Wednesday said that it is saddened to see its name appearing in the ongoing dispute between Zee Entertainment and Invesco. Also, the company said that the offer given by it to ZEE has been misrepresented in the media.
Reliance said in a statement, “We had made a comprehensive proposal to merge all our media assets with ZEE at a reasonable valuation. Under this, ZEE and our properties were valued on the same criteria.”
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Reliance also said that Invesco had helped Reliance organize a direct meeting between its representatives and ZEE’s Managing Director Puneet Goenka in this matter.
“This proposal focused on judicious use of the capabilities of all the companies involved in the merger, which could have immensely benefited all, including the shareholders of ZEE,” the statement said.
Reliance always tries to maintain the existing management of the investment companies and also reward them for their good performance. Similarly, the proposal also included the continuation of Puneet Goenka as Managing Director and issuance of ESOPs to him.”
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Invesco and Goenka, however, decided to increase their stake by subscribing to the preferential shares, which led to differences between Invesco and Goenka. Investors were of the view that the founders could buy from the market at any time, the statement further said. We at Reliance, respect all the founders and we have never taken any coercive or unethical method for any transaction. Hence, we have not proceeded in this matter.”
Earlier, Invesco had written a letter to ZEE saying that it fears that while its proposed merger with Sony will benefit the promoter family, it will harm the interests of minority shareholders of ZEE.
On Tuesday, Puneet Goenka told the board of ZEE that Invesco had come to him in February with a merger proposal with a large Indian conglomerate. However, Goenka did not take the name of Reliance Industries then.
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Goenka said that he turned down the deal as it would have hurt the shareholders of ZEE. After this, on Wednesday morning, Invesco rejected Goenka’s claim, saying that Goenka is doing all this only to avoid the demand of the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) called by him.
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