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New Delhi: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd has approached National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) against National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)'s order that asked it to respond by Thursday on a petition filed by Invesco and OFI Global China by Thursday, reported Reuters citing a source.

NCLT on Tuesday asked Zee to file replies before it by October 7 in a case filed by Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund LLC, which want the company to call a meeting of shareholders.

Zee, in an official statement, confirmed that it had moved the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, although it did not give a reason. The petition is likely to be heard tomorrow, 7 October. As per reports, Zee is also likely to ask to stay all proceedings at NCLT till decision made at NCLAT.

NCLT had earlier said the matter of the dispute is simple - whether the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) requisition is valid or not and it cannot give Zee Entertainment Enterprises 'weeks and weeks' of time for filing its reply to the same. "Orders cannot be passed with an opportunity of filing a counter... and we are of the view that minimum opportunity time should be given," the tribunal, comprising Bhaskara Pantula Mohan and Narendra Kumar Bhola, said in an oral order. The tribunal has adjourned the proceedings for hearing on October 7. 

US-based Invesco, on September 30, had moved a petition seeking convening of the EGM, removing the company's Chief Executive and Managing Director Punit Goenka as well as two other directors, and reconstituting the board with the appointment of six new directors. Invesco Developing Markets Fund (formerly Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund) along with OFI Global China Fund LLC hold a 17.88 per cent stake in ZEEL. 

The NCLT had directed Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd to hold a board meeting to consider Invesco's request for convening an EGM. However, on October 1, ZEEL told the exchanges that its board found the demand for a meeting, seeking a recast of the board, including the removal of Goenka, to be "illegal and invalid". On October 2, ZEEL said it has moved the Bombay High Court against the requisition of minority shareholders, Invesco and OFI Global China Fund, to convene an EGM to discuss various issues, including the removal of Goenka.

Meanwhile, Zee said a potential merger with the Indian unit of Sony Group Corp. is the best deal on the table but India’s biggest private-sector TV network is open to offer from other bidders even as it faces resistance from key shareholders.

“This is the best deal for shareholders at this point in time as we are interested in maximization of values for all our stakeholders including shareholders, the company and consuming public," company’s chairman R. Gopalan said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday adding the company is open to “consider if there is another deal on the table," reported Bloomberg.

With inputs from agencies

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