Indian Zee accuses Invesco of double standard in Sony merger


By Sankalp Phartiyal

NEW DELHI, October 12 (Reuters)Zee from India ZEE.NS said main shareholder Invesco’s opposition to a proposed merger of the television network with Sony on Tuesday 6758.T Indian unity is being hypocritical because the US investment firm struck a deal with similar terms earlier this year.

Invesco’s “position … goes against the very deal Invesco proposed a few months ago,” Zee Entertainment Enterprises said in a statement, revealing the proposal for the first time. The company added that Invesco’s requests are not motivated by serving company business or the public interest.

Invesco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Invesco’s opposition darkens the prospects for the deal with Sony, which caused Zee’s share price to rise sharply when it was announced in September. Under the deal, Sony India would control around 53% of the merged company.

Invesco, which owns around 18% of Zee through two funds, objected to certain terms of the deal with Sony that give Zee’s founding family, including Goenka, an option to increase their stake to 20% from 4. % currently in an “opaque”. way that would disadvantage other shareholders.

Invesco also requested the ouster of Goenka and a recasting of the company’s board of directors.

Zee said Invesco in February requested a merger of the media company with “certain entities owned by a large Indian group”, without identifying the company.

Under the deal, Goenka would have become the head of the new combined company and the founding family would have held an additional stake, Zee said.

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Edmund Blair and Cynthia Osterman)

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