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Zee- Sony Saga: Promoter Alleges Foul Play

Zee Promoter Subhash Chandra has alleged that SEBI is acting in a pre-established manner to its case. 


 


In a letter to the Finance Ministry, he has sought its intervention to amicably solve the matter. He says that he was trying to protect minority shareholders of the group. Earlier the Security Appellate Tribunal overturned Punita Goenka and Subhash Chandra’s debarment to holding any key positions in Zee till SEBI was done with the investigations.


 


The letter says that Mr. Subhash Chandra is not concerned with the investigation but the timing of the SEBI investigation. He has said that the valuation has been negatively affected by all the controversies surrounding the company


 


He denies any wrongdoing and says that all information has been shared with the regulator and the notice does not contain any new information which has not been shared with SEBI.


 


When SAT had overturned the order Punit Goenka was reinstated as MD and CEO of Zee. He says that the notice is being sent to sensationalize the issue in the media.


 


 Chandra’s letter also says that he has nearly paid back INR 40,000 crore to its lenders or nearly 92% of the debt. Due to the multiple sales in their stakes, the promoters currently hold 4% of the company as compared to 40% earlier.


 


CNBC TV 18, a major business news outlet in India has said that SEBI confirmed that it is in the final stages of its investigation. The article also alleges that earlier INR 200 crore was siphoned off through various misdemeanours of the promoters such as window dressing of its financials. However, the article estimates that this is to the tune of INR 800-1000 crore.


 


Zee’s stock has now come out of the F&O ban today. Brokerages have downgraded the stock to 50% of its valuation. He has alleged that similar concerns were shared with SEBI in January 2018



Zee faces a task to compete in the market following the Reliance-Disney merger. He has alleged that SEBI tried to scuttle the deal. Zee wants Sony to complete the deal.


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