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Zee has two weeks to respond to shareholder suit: NCLT

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Zee will now file his reply before the NCLT on October 22.

New Delhi: The companies’ court in India on Friday gave Zee Entertainment two weeks to file its reply on a matter brought by two institutional investors for a shareholders’ meeting to discuss overhaul of the top management and board of directors.

Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC, which together account for 17.88% of its shares, want Zee to convene an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders ahead of the company’s planned merger with the local unit of Japan’s Sony Group Corp. .

A bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in the financial capital of Mumbai passed the order after Zee got relief from an appellate court that it should be given “reasonable time” to respond in the matter. The impending merger will create India’s largest broadcaster to be headed by Zee CEO Puneet Goenka whom Invesco and OFI are looking to oust

Funders also want the company’s board to be reformed. Earlier this month, Zee’s board rejected Invesco’s call for an EGM. Zee had earlier this week approached the higher National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLT) seeking more time for the NCLT to respond. A complaint was lodged in the matter on October 7.

Zee will now file its reply before the NCLT on October 22. Invesco and OFI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Zee founder Subhash Chandra, who is also the father of the company’s CEO Goenka, earlier this week criticized Invesco for trying to effect a hostile takeover and urged the Indian government and regulators to intervene.

Chandra has no official position in Zee but his family owns 3.99% of the company. Veteran Bollywood actress and MP Hema Malini came out in support of Zee on Friday.

Malini tweeted, “India’s first pure entertainment channel is facing some trouble and needs government and public support…(ZEE) is like an extended family to the Indian film industry and I wish That it remains with the Indian management.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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