Regret being drawn into the dispute between Zee and Invesco: Reliance Industries
Mumbai/IBNS: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Wednesday said that it regretted being drawn into the corporate battle between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and its largest shareholder, Invesco.
RIL, in a statement, said that reports in the media regarding Invesco's claim of facilitating talks for a merger between media companies owned by Reliance Industries and the Zee Group in February were 'not accurate'.
Stepping into the long-drawn corporate war, Reliance Industries, which owns Network18 Media and its subsidiary TV18 Broadcast, stated that it was in dialogue for acquiring ZEEL but did not go ahead with the transaction after talks between Invesco and the Zee promoters broke down.
"In February-March 2021, Invesco assisted Reliance in arranging discussions directly between our representatives and Punit Goenka, member of the founder family and Managing Director of Zee, and we had made a broad proposal for merger of our media properties with Zee at fair valuations of Zee and all our properties," Reliance said in the statement.
"The valuations of Zee and our properties were arrived at based on the same parameters. The proposal sought to harness the strengths of all the merging entities and would have helped to create substantial value for all, including the shareholders of Zee," it added.
Reliance always endeavours to continue with the existing management of the investee companies and reward them for their performance," the statement read.
RIL stated that its proposal had included continuation of Punit Goenka as Managing Director and issue of ESOPs to management, including him.
"Differences arose between Punit Goenka and Invesco with respect to a requirement of the founding family for increasing their stake by subscribing to preferential warrants, and the investors seemed to be of the view that the founders could always increase their stake through market purchases," according to the RIL statement.
Reliance Industries said it respects all founders and has never resorted to any hostile transactions, and it did not proceed further.