ZEEL board approves re-appointment of Punit Goenka as MD & CEO for five years

MUMBAI: Media conglomerate ZEEL‘s board has given in-principal approval to the re-appointment of Punit Goenka as the MD and CEO of the company for five years.

Goenka’s current term ends on 31st December. The new term will commence on 1st January 2020. The re-appointment is subject to the approval of the equity shareholders.

“This is to inform you that the Board of Directors of the Company at the meeting held today i.e. on November 5, 2019, has approved in-principle, the re-appointment of Mr. Punit Goenka as Managing Director & CEO of the Company, for a further period of 5 years upon conclusion of his current term on December 31,2019 i.e. w.e.f. January 1, 2020,” ZEEL said in a regulatory filing.

“The said re-appointment shall be subject to the approval of the Equity Shareholders which shall be sought by way of Postal Ballot,” it added.

According to a Mint report, Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra may lose control of ZEEL as lenders have decided to sell promoter shares pledged with them. The lenders plan to put their pledged shares in an escrow account in preparation for a sale and have already initiated discussions with potential bidders.

Quoting an unnamed source, the report stated that large investors such as Sony Corp. and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. have evinced interest to buy ZEEL‘s shares that are to be put up for sale in the escrow account.

“The escrow account will be created early this week and the bidding will start thereafter,” a source has been quoted as saying.

Russian financial institution VTB Capital has already kick-started the process of selling 10.71% in ZEEL. The report noted that the second set of lenders is expected to transfer another 10.77% to the escrow account.

If the sale of shares goes through successfully, the promoters will be left with a 0.89% stake in ZEEL. The promoters currently hold a 22.37% stake in the company. The Essel Group promoters have a debt of around Rs 11,000 crore.

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