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Bombay HC grants Zeel temporary relief from Invesco’s EGM notice

The Bombay high court has ruled in favour of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (Zeel) temporarily barring the requisition notice by its majority shareholder Invesco to call for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

In another development, Zeel has also cancelled its board meeting scheduled on 27 October to discuss the unaudited financial results for the second quarter of the year ended 30 September citing lack of quorum. In the BSE filing, the company said that the next date of the meeting will be duly informed with fresh notice.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) hearing on a petition moved by Invesco on the EGM notice will be held on Wednesday. The NCLT is likely to follow the Bombay high court decision.

The Zeel-Invesco tussle began when the media company’s two top investors Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC who combined own 18 per cent stake in the company had sent a requisition notice to the company on 11 September to call an EGM even after two weeks, the investors moved to NCLT, citing provisions of Company Law, according to which the company is bound to call for an EGM within a specific number of days if stakeholder demanding it owns more than 10 per cent of the company.

The investors had also sought the removal of long-standing directors and close associates of the Chandra family from the board. The two independent directors Ashok Kurien and Manish Chokhani have already submitted their resignations.

The investors moved to have six nominees appointed to the board of Zeel, which included Surendra Singh Sirohi, Naina Krishna Murthy, Rohan Dhamija, Aruna Sharma, Srinivasa Rao Addepali, and Gaurav Mehta as independent directors of the board for a term up to five consecutive years.

The notice was received by Zeel on 12 September, and it informed the stock exchanges on 13 September, adding that the appointments are subject to approval by the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB).

Zeel refused to conduct the EGM citing ‘shareholders interest’ and moved to Bombay high court on 2 October seeking to declare the requisition notice as “illegal and invalid.” Indiantelevision

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