Reliance Industries reveals proposal to merge media arm with Zee Entertainment, not interested now

It also clarified that differences arose between ZEEL MD Punit Goenka and Invesco over the founders' bid to raise stake by subscribing to preferential warrants.

Published: 14th October 2021 07:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th October 2021 07:44 AM   |  A+A-

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani (File | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  After its name was dragged into the boardroom battle between Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) and Invesco Developing Markets Fund, Reliance Industries  (RIL) on Wednesday revealed that it had proposed to merge its media properties with Zee at "fair valuations" but never resorted to any hostile transaction. 

"The valuations of Zee and our properties were arrived at based on the same parameters," an RIL statement read.

It also clarified that differences arose between ZEEL MD Punit Goenka and Invesco over the founders' bid to raise stake by subscribing to preferential warrants, following which the merger plan was dropped.

Earlier on Wednesday, Invesco said it had tried facilitating a Reliance-Zee deal. "The role of Invesco, as Zee's single largest shareholder, was to help facilitate that potential transaction and nothing more," it said in response to Goenka’s charge that it tried to push a one-sided Reliance deal on Zee.

ALSO READ| Invesco says tried to facilitate deal between ZEEL, Reliance

Though Zee had not mentioned Reliance in its statement to exchanges on Tuesday, it talked about two Invesco representatives presenting a deal to Punit Goenka "involving the merger of the Company and certain entities owned by a large Indian group (strategic group)".

"As per the deal presented to me, upon completion of the aforesaid merger, the Strategic Group would hold majority stake of the merged entity and I would be responsible for running the operations of the merged entity as its MD and CEO," Goenka said.

He added  that the deal was not in the best interest of public shareholders and that he was uncomfortable with the manner in which Invesco was pushing the deal. According to Zee, Reliance's deal valued its shares at Rs 220 apiece, with total valuation of the public shareholding of the company at Rs 21,129 crore. 

What Reliance says

  • Invesco had in February/March this year assisted in arranging discussions with Punit Goenka

  • Differences arose between Goenka and Invesco over founding family’s increasing their stake 

  • Reliance did not proceed further after this, as it respects all founders

  • RIL never resorted to any hostile transactions


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