Reliance name dragged into spat between Invesco & ZEEL

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Reliance Industries has been dragged into the ongoing fallout between ZEEL and Invesco.

A few days ago, Invesco revealed that it had facilitated merger talks between ZEE and Reliance Industries in February. It is worth mentioning that Reliance owns Network18 Media and Investments including Colors. Meanwhile, Invesco is the 18% stakeholder of ZEEL. The news further is interesting just weeks after ZEE and Sony announced a potential merger.

Reports say that the deal between ZEE and Reliance fell through after Invesco did not agree to Punit Goenka’s requirement for his family’s stake in the company.

Since the revelations, Mukesh Ambani’s company released a statement saying, “In February/ March 2021, Invesco assisted Reliance in arranging discussions directly between our representatives and Mr Punit Goenka, member of the founder family and Managing Director of ZEE.”

It added, “We had made a broad proposal for merger of our media properties with ZEE at fair valuations of ZEE and all our properties.”

“Reliance always endeavours to continue with the existing management of the investee companies and reward them for their performance. Accordingly, the proposal included continuation of Goenka as Managing Director and issue of ESOPs to management, including Goenka,” it stated further.

“The investors seemed to be of the view that the founders could always increase their stake through market purchases,” the statement said. “At Reliance, we respect all founders and have never resorted to any hostile transactions. So, we did not proceed further.”

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