In a major development, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) MD Punit Goenka has informed the Company Board that Invesco representatives had covertly offered a merger proposal to him with a “large Indian group” in February, early this year.The “deal” involving the merger of the Company and certain entities owned by a large Indian group (Strategic Group) was presented by Invesco’s representatives Aroon Balani and Bhavtosh Vajpayee, the Zeel MD told the Board in a note.According to the deal, upon completion of the merger, the Strategic Group would have held a majority stake in the merged entity and Goenka would have been appointed as the MD & CEO.
Through several correspondents, Invesco even “acknowledged Goenka’s reputation, experience, and capabilities as a professional and insisted that he would be paramount in leading the operations and business of the merged entity,” wrote Goenka.The Zeel MD also told the Board that as per the deal, the merging entities of the Strategic Group were over-valued, and it would have resulted in a loss to the stakeholders of the Company. “If the proposed deal would have been approved, the shareholders of the Company would have suffered a loss of at least Rs 10,000 crore,” claimed Goenka.
But, when he expressed his apprehensions regarding the deal, “Invesco told him that they had already finalised the key commercial terms of the merger with the Strategic Group and there was no room to negotiate or even diligence the entities to be merged or the valuations of those entities,” he wrote. “In fact, I was asked to ensure that the Company consummates the deal within a period of just five days.