Two investment firms, together accounting for 17.88 percent of the paid-up share capital of Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL), have sought the removal of the current managing director Punit Goenka from the board of the company.
The two investment firms are — Invesco Developing Markets Fund (formerly Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund) and OFI Global China Fund LLC, the largest shareholder of ZEEL.
The two firms have called an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders seeking to remove Punit Goenka.
“The board of directors of the company is requested to take all necessary action to call for and conduct the extraordinary general meeting, as requisitioned by us, in accordance with applicable law…,” the two investment firms said in a letter, which was uploaded by the company on the bourses.
Besides, the investment firms also sought the removal of two independent board members — Manish Chokhani and Ashok Kurien, ZEEL said in a regulatory filing on Monday.
In a separate filing, ZEEL also informed that both independent board members Chokhani and Kurien has resigned from the board on Monday evening.
“The company has today received letters from Manish Chokhani and Ashok Kurien resigning from the position of non-executive non-independent directors of the company with immediate effect,” ZEEL said in a regulatory filing on Monday.
The investment firms have also sought the appointment of six of its own nominees on the board of the company – Surendra Singh Sirohi, Naina Krishna Murthy, Rohan Dhamija, Aruna Sharma, Srinivasa Rao Addepalli and Gaurav Mehta.
Invesco and OFI Global China have also enclosed the relevant declarations and information required from each of the proposed independent directors, which is required while seeking approval from the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) while making changes.
“Accordingly, we request that the company submit an application with the MIB seeking approval for the appointment of the proposed independent directors at the earliest,” the investment firms said.
In July 2019, Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group had roped in existing investor Invesco Oppenheimer to raise its stake in flagship Zee Entertainment Enterprises by another 11 percent for Rs 4,224 crore.
As of June 2021 quarter, the promoter shareholding in the company stood at 3.99 percent.