Shares of India’s Zee Entertainment surge after investors call for CEO’s exit

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Shares of India’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd soared 40% on Tuesday in a record daily gain after top shareholders called for a management reshuffle, including the exit of its chief executive officer from the board.

Shareholders Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund, which together hold a 17.88% stake in Zee, in a letter asked for the removal of CEO Punit Goenka and two others as directors, Zee said late on Monday.

The investors also asked for the appointment of multiple independent directors to the media and entertainment company.

Zee, which has a presence in television broadcasting and digital media with brands such as Zee TV, said it was examining the letter. Reuters could not immediately reach the investor funds for comment.

Separately, Zee said on Monday that directors Manish Chokhani and Ashok Kurien, who the investors wanted to remove, had resigned.

The development comes days after proxy advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IIAS) raised fresh corporate governance concerns at Zee Entertainment and asked shareholders to vote against reappointing Chokhani and Kurien as directors.

Among other concerns, IIAS alleged Kurien and Chokhani were accountable for a 46% increase in Goenka’s remuneration for fiscal year 2021, higher than what shareholders approved in the 2020 AGM.

Zee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“This can be a positive move for the company as appointing new directors might improve its corporate governance and oversight of the business,” Likhita Chepa, senior research analyst at CapitalVia Global Research, said.

Zee is set to hold its annual shareholder meeting later in the day.

Shares of other group companies such as Zee Media, Zee Learn and Dish TV India jumped between 5% and 19%, following the funds’ call to remove the Zee Entertainment directors.

Zee Entertainment shares recovered its losses for the year following Tuesday’s gains.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.