ZEEL management stands behind its two independent directors who had resigned

By: |
September 16, 2021 10:28 PM

Earlier the proxy advisory firm Institutional Investors Advisory Services (IiAS) had raised serious corporate governance concerns of ZEEL and had suggested its shareholders not to vote for re-appointing the duo on the company’s board at the AGM.

zeeThe two investment firms have called an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders seeking to remove Punit Goenka.

Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) on Thursday backed its two independent directors Ashok Kurien and Manish Chokhani, who had resigned this week after two of its largest shareholders sought their removal.

ZEEL has also “strongly condemned” the allegations levelled by certain proxy advisory firms against its former non-executive directors, the company said in a statement.

On Monday, Invesco Developing Markets Fund (formerly Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund) along with OFI Global China Fund LLC—which together hold 17.88 per cent stake in the company—had called an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to seek removal of ZEEL Managing Director Punit Goenka along with Kurien and Chokhani.

Immediately after that stock exchanges were informed that both independent board members Chokhani and Kurien had resigned from the board on Monday evening.

Earlier the proxy advisory firm Institutional Investors Advisory Services (IiAS) had raised serious corporate governance concerns of ZEEL and had suggested its shareholders not to vote for re-appointing the duo on the company’s board at the AGM.

The two investment firms have called an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders seeking to remove Punit Goenka.

“Under the mentorship of Chokhani and Kurien, along with all the members of the board, the interest of the shareholders has always been paramount for the company, and it is committed to maintain the highest standards of governance and transparency. Speculations disparaging the contribution of the said non-executive directors of the company are baseless and arise out of inadequate understanding of the industry,” said ZEEL.

Decisions taken by committee members and the board of directors of the company are being ‘wrongly attributed’ to individual directors without any basis, it added.

“ZEEL is immensely grateful to both Ashok Kurien and Manish Chokhani for their contribution towards the company. Their guidance to the leadership team has been valuable, enabling ZEEL to touch newer heights and deliver greater value to all its stakeholders year on year,” the statement said.

Under their collective direction, ZEEL has consistently undertaken several initiatives to bring in more transparency to the shareholders, it added.

“Kurien and Chokhani have added immense value in the overall process of board reconstitution, thereby strengthening it further with the induction of eminent independent directors. The reconstituted board comprises highly qualified individuals with immense experience, who will continue to ensure highest compliance practices and governance and set the benchmark for management accountability and transparency to further enhance the value of the company,” the company said.

ZEEL Chairman R Gopalan said, “The board of ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Ltd unanimously applauds Ashok Kurien and Manish Chokhani, commending their professional conduct during their association with the company. It has been our privilege to have such esteemed members as part of the board, and their contributions towards the company remain significant.”

Kurien had played a key role in steering the company to newer heights with his contribution arising out of deep understanding and knowledge of the media industry.

“His vast expertise of 35 years in the industry has been instrumental in building ZEE as a leading entertainment brand and a creative content company not only in India but across the globe,” Gopalan said.

“On behalf of the entire ZEE family, I would like to thank Kurien and Chokhani for their guidance and support, and we wish them success in every future endeavour,” he added.

Kurien and Chokhani are two distinguished and noteworthy names in the corporate sector and have been advisors to several leading companies.

The investment firms has also sought appointment of six of its own nominees on the board of the company – Surendra Singh Sirohi, Naina Krishna Murthy, Rohan Dhamija, Aruna Sharma, Srinivasa Rao Addepalli and Gaurav Mehta.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1BSNL is offering up to 4 months of free broadband internet to these users; check details
2Apple doubles down on HomePod ambitions, brings back former engineer to head software division
3D-Mart Q2 profit rises twofold to Rs 417 cr