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    RELIANCE   INE002A01018

RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LTD

(RELIANCE)
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Fight with Invesco is to preserve company, CEO of India's Zee says

10/14/2021 | 06:31am EST
FILE PHOTO: Goenka, CEO and MD of Zee Entertainment Enterprises, attends news conference before Zee Cine Awards in Macau

MUMBAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - The chief of India's Zee said on Thursday that the TV network's fight with top shareholder Invesco is to preserve the company's future and ensure that it emerges as a more formidable player in the country's media industry.

Invesco holds nearly 18% of Zee Entertainment Enterprises' shares via two funds and is pushing for an overhaul of top management and the board of directors ahead of its planned merger with the local unit of Japan's Sony Group Corp.

Invesco has objected to some terms of the Sony deal that give Zee's founding family, including Goenka, an option to increase their stake to 20% in the merged company from their current 4% in Zee.

Invesco has called the manner in which the Zee founders' stake in the new company would be raised "opaque" and said it would disadvantage other shareholders.

The two parties are locked in a bitter legal tussle and have been lashing out at each other almost daily.

"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," Zee CEO Punit Goenka said, making his first public statement in the dispute with Invesco.

On Wednesday, Invesco said it had facilitated talks between India's Reliance Industries and Zee earlier this year for a possible merger.

But it also dismissed Zee's claims that its opposition to the current Sony deal "runs contrary to the very deal Invesco was proposing".

Zee's founder and Goenka's father Subhash Chandra has accused Invesco of plotting a hostile takeover and the media company has said that the U.S. firm's demands were not motivated by concerns about corporate governance or business.

On Thursday, Goenka said he did not agree to the deal with Reliance as shareholder value would be compromised.

"My attention was on the imbalance observed in the valuation and how it was not in the best interest of our shareholders," he said.

Invesco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It has previously said it would not pursue a deal that would be bad for shareholders. (Reporting by Nupur Anand in Mumbai and Sankalp Phartiyal in New Delhi; editing by Jason Neely)


ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LTD 0.64% 2482.85 Delayed Quote.24.26%
SONY GROUP CORPORATION -2.27% 13580 End-of-day quote.32.04%
ZEE ENTERTAINMENT ENTERPRISES LIMITED 1.51% 342.15 Delayed Quote.50.81%
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Sales 2022 6 846 B 91 390 M 91 390 M
Net income 2022 575 B 7 674 M 7 674 M
Net Debt 2022 265 B 3 536 M 3 536 M
P/E ratio 2022 28,3x
Yield 2022 0,33%
Capitalization 15 780 B 211 B 211 B
EV / Sales 2022 2,34x
EV / Sales 2023 1,99x
Nbr of Employees 236 334
Free-Float 39,9%
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Number of Analysts 31
Last Close Price 2 482,85 INR
Average target price 2 632,62 INR
Spread / Average Target 6,03%
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Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani Chairman & Managing Director
Srikanth Venkatachari Joint Chief Financial Officer
Alok Agarwal Joint Chief Financial Officer
Savithri Parekh Secretary & Compliance Officer
Dipak Chand Jain Independent Non-Executive Director
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