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Key ZEE investors seek removal of CEO Punit Goenka

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The move by the two investors will see them come in direct conflict with not only Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of ZEEL, but also his father Subhash Chandra.

Key ZEE investors seek removal of CEO Punit Goenka
Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC have called a special shareholders’ meeting seeking the removal of Punit Goenka from the post of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) director.
The two investors hold a combined 17.88 percent stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL). The move by the two investors will see them come in direct conflict with not only Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of ZEEL, but also his father Subhash Chandra.
Earlier, in a letter to the ZEEL board, Invesco also sought the removal of two other directors Manish Chokhani and Ashok Kurien. However, the two submitted their resignations before the extraordinary general meeting.
The letter also proposed the appointment of six independent directors, including Surendra Singh Sirohi, Naina Krishna Murthy, Rohan Dhamija, Aruna Sharma, Srinivasa Rao Addepalli and Gaurav Mehta.
The new development comes amid reports that Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd was in talks with ZEEL for a potential merger aimed at creating a media firm whose operations span across various domains such as broadcast, OTT, live entertainment and movie production.
The crisis in the company unfolded after Subhash Chandra took massive loans using his family’s shares in Zee Entertainment as collateral. This in turn forced Chandra to pledge majority of his shares with lenders following the accumulation of debts. The collapse of IL&FS further aggravated the condition, as per reports.
“I had admitted the wrong decisions taken by me in the past, which caused the occurrence of the default due to the asset-liability mismatch. Goes without saying that it was an after-effect of the liquidity crisis, triggered from the IL&FS case," he was quoted as saying in the report.