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Will Punit Goenka survive as Director? All eyes on Zeel's Extraordinary General Meeting now

The meeting has been called by Invesco and OFI Global for the removal of Goenka as Director of Zeel

Punit Goenka

All eyes will be on the Extraordinary General Meeting called by Invesco and OFI Global for the removal of Punit Goenka as Director of Zeel after September 16, 2021, when the results of voting on key resolutions, including the adoption of financial results, will be out.

The company held its 39th Annual General Meeting on Tuesday in the backdrop of a demand to remove Goenka over governance issues raised by the two largest investors, Invesco and OFI Global.

Zee informed BSE about the notice issued by Invesco late Monday night.

The institutional shareholders have asked for the induction of six new members for the positions of independent directors at Zee.

Goenka has been in the line of fire ever since proxy advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS) questioned the corporate governance practices in the company.

On September 11, the proxy advisory firm had raised the red flag over the reappointment of two directors, Manish Chokhani and Ashok Kurien, and the adoption of its financial statements.

After which, both Invesco and OFI Global (both together own around 18% of the total paid-up share capital of the company) sought a meeting to remove Goenka.

According to IiAS, the audit and remuneration committees, of which Chokhani and Kurien who were members, had approved a 46% rise in Goenka’s pay for FY21.

Chokhani and Kurien have already resigned.

In a stock exchange filing, the company stated that the two had resigned as non-executive non-independent directors. The company said Chokhani resigned due to changed life circumstances post-Covid, whereas Kurien resigned because of his preoccupation.

Kurien had partnered with media magnate Subhash Chandra to set up Zee, while Chokhani is director of investment company Enam Holdings.

Clarifying his position during the company's annual general meeting on Tuesday, Goenka, son of the group's founder Subhash Chandra, defended the company's corporate governance practices. The promoters, Subhash Chandra's family, own only 4% in the company.

The outcome on key resolutions that were up for voting at this AGM, including the adoption of financial results, will be out on September 16.

The funds have sought the appointment of six independent directors, including Surendra Singh Sirohi, Naina Krishna Murthy, Rohan Dhamija, Aruna Sharma, Srinivasa Rao Addepalli and Gaurav Mehta on the board of Zee.

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