India is no place for US-style investor activism content plan: Andy Mukherjee

(Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. This column first appeared in Bloomberg on October 27, 2021)

  • Aggressive, no-holds-barred shareholder activism has met with plenty of cultural resistance in Asia, most notably in Japan and South Korea. Now, it’s India’s turn to curb American investors’ enthusiasm. Or so it would seem from the latest twist in the fight over Zee Entertainment Ltd., the country’s largest publicly traded television network. “Sometimes, it happens that a company must be saved from its own shareholders, however well-intentioned,” said Justice G.S. Patel of the Bombay High Court, temporarily restraining Atlanta-based Invesco Developing Markets Fund from calling an investors meeting to oust the board. The injunction is unlikely to be the end of the corporate battle, though it does boost founder Subhash Chandra’s chances of hanging on to his crown jewel with only a 4% stake, versus Invesco’s 18%. Earlier this year, Invesco tried to facilitate talks between Reliance Industries Ltd. and the media mogul’s elder son, Punit Goenka, the chief executive officer. Those discussions, which Goenka disclosed only recently, failed because they would most certainly have seen the asset pass into Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s orbit…

Also Read: What to do about the heavy cost of doing business in India: Sachchidanand Shukla

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