Blindsided with a freeze on its voting rights once, Yes Bank Ltd. is now covering all bases in the battle against Dish TV India Ltd., its board and management. As the single largest shareholder with a 25.63% stake, Yes Bank has deployed a three-pronged strategy in its dispute against Essel Group-owned Dish TV.
The bank has filed an oppression and mismanagement case against Dish TV’s board before the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal. It has also filed a caveat before the tribunal against Dish TV’s directors and promoter group against any adverse order on the bank’s voting rights in the company. A caveat is a petition asking the court to not pass any ex-parte directions.
In this petition, Yes Bank has stated it apprehends that Dish TV, its directors or the promoter group could approach the tribunal for interim relief under company law provisions. The bank has asked the tribunal to not pass any directions without granting the bank a hearing.
Simultaneously, Yes Bank has written to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and securities regulator SEBI seeking an investigation into the affairs of the company. BloombergQuint has reviewed copies of all three documents.
To recap, Yes Bank and Dish TV are locked in a dispute since September this year. The bank is seeking removal of directors on the company’s board, including managing director Jawahar Goel, who is the younger brother of Subhash Chandra, the founder of the Essel Group — that includes the Zee media empire. Chandra’s son Punit Goenka is the managing director of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. The bank has also sought the appointment of new directors at Dish TV via a shareholder vote at an extraordinary general meeting.
Dish TV’s board declined Yes Bank’s requisition for an EGM. Also, in response to a criminal complaint filed by Chandra against several former officers of Yes Bank, the Noida police had recently barred Yes Bank from transferring its stake or exercise its voting rights in the broadcaster. The police’s direction was upheld by the Allahabad High Court but overturned by the Supreme Court in a prima facie order.
Consequent to that, Yes Bank has approached the tribunal, ministry and the Securities and Exchange Board of India to protect its interests. Bloomberg Quint