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I am not worried about my position, but for company’s future: ZEEL’s MD & CEO Punit Goenka on Invesco case


New Delhi: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited’s (ZEEL) MD & CEO Punit Goenka finally opened up on the ongoing issue with its investor Invesco. In a statement on Thursday, he said that he isn’t worried about his position but about the future of the media company. 

He said that the purpose of the current tussle with Invesco is to make the company even stronger. “We have to try that the future of the company is not affected,” he added to his statement. 

“Silence may be the best answer at times, but I have realised that in certain situations it is better to break it at the right time, so that truth comes to the fore,” he said. 

He also raised several questions in his statement. “Why didn’t Invesco make its plans public earlier? Does good corporate governance only apply to corporates and not their institutional investors?” he asked.  

“My demeanour is not to indulge in an ill-natured fight,” Goenka said adding, “Such battles are best handled by legal experts. All I am contending for is to preserve the future of this company, and not my position. This fight is to ensure the company continues to gain immense growth opportunities and become a stronger and more formidable player in the media & entertainment sector.”

Goenka also noted that this is going to be his first and last statement on Invesco. “it is better to break it at the right time, so that truth comes to the fore,” he added. Also Read: 

For the past few days, especially after the merger announcement between ZEEL and Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI), a few media houses have been publishing baseless and hollow reports to fight a losing battle against ZEEL, and especially against Goenka, who will continue as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the merged company. Goenka’s statement is likely to clear the air around the issue. 

Statement from the desk of Punit Goenka

Silence may be the best answer at times, but I have realised that in certain situations it is better to break it at the right time, so that truth comes to the fore. I have been compelled to break my silence on the ongoing matter, and this is the reason that I am writing this note today. I have always been extremely transparent in all my communications and vide this statement, I would like to share my thoughts about the current situation. That said, I truly hope that this will be my first and last communication on this matter, so that we can focus on our value-creation journey at ZEE. 

Firstly, I would like to acknowledge that Invesco has been an extremely strong support to the Company, for the most part. It pains me to see this relationship going sour today and the unfortunate circumstances that we are all facing. 

In my journey at ZEE, I have strived very hard to build the Company into this successful entertainment powerhouse that it has become today. This success is a result of the hard work sown in by thousands of people every single day across our offices. As a proud parent of this institution that we have nurtured together, it has only made me proud to note the interest from leading companies across the globe, to partner with us and be a part of our extraordinary future. All I want is a better tomorrow for ZEE, one that is filled with higher returns and value for shareholders and immense growth opportunities for the Company and its people. But one, that is also formed with utmost honesty, transparency and positivity. Unfortunately,  the way the current situation is unfolding is what disappoints me.

My demeanour is not to indulge in an ill-natured fight. Such battles are best handled by legal experts. All I am contending for, is to preserve the future of this Company, and not my position. This fight is to ensure the Company continues to gain immense growth opportunities and become a stronger and more formidable player in the Media & Entertainment sector. We should not let anyone impact the future of ZEE or diminish the shareholder value it has been consistently generating over the years. 

The key reason for me to present the series of communications exchanged with Invesco to the  Board of Directors of ZEE, was to bring the truth out in the interest of all our stakeholders. 

During my briefing to the Board, I emphasised on the points pertaining to the proposal from Invesco. My attention was on the imbalance observed in the valuation and how it was not in the best interest of our shareholders. The only reason I did not agree to the proposal was because the shareholder value was getting compromised. I will withstand any amount of pressure to preserve ZEE’s intrinsic value and ensure that nothing impacts the returns being delivered to all the shareholders.

I acknowledge the stance that has been taken by Invesco, but communications pertaining to such proposals are always well-documented, and they speak to the contrary. I too have a lot of points to put across, but I firmly believe that there is a right time and place for it. Our lawyers will do the needful in the court of law, as deemed necessary. But on a personal note, I have some questions as well. Why didn’t Invesco make its plans public earlier? Does good corporate governance only apply to corporates and not their institutional investors? As a lawabiding citizen and a representative of a responsible corporate citizen, I have and repose complete faith in the Indian judicial and regulatory system and hence I am most certain that these questions will be answered for all of us.

We will ensure that no one maligns the intrinsic value of this Company for their own benefit, and I continue to pursue this in the best interests of all our shareholders, and at immense personal costs. In this situation, it is not about one versus the other. The shareholders and management of a Company are two sides of the same coin. It is all about increasing the value of that coin together, for the betterment of all the shareholders and the Company at large. 

Under the guidance of the Board and in line with the advice sought from our legal counsel, I will continue to take the required steps to safeguard ZEE and its future.

Ultimately, truth is mighty and my hope is that in the end, it is only truth and justice that will prevail.

Yours truly,

Punit Goenka

 

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