The Bombay High Court (HC) on Friday rejected an interim application filed by a promoter group entity of Dish TV seeking to restrain YES Bank, a shareholder of the company, from exercising its right over shares held by the bank.
The matter pertains to the dispute between Dish TV, part of the Essel group, and YES Bank over ownership issues in the company. YES Bank has over 440 million shares (or around 25 per cent) in the direct-to-home company and has been seeking a change in management for some time now.
A single-judge Bench led by Justice AK Menon turned down the plea for urgent relief filed by World Crest Advisors LLP, the Dish TV promoter group entity, against YES Bank, paving the way for the latter to exercise its voting rights at the upcoming extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the company.
The EGM, which be held on June 24, will see the company seek the re-appointment of Jawahar Goel, Anil Dua and RC Venkateish as managing director, whole-time director and independent director of the firm respectively.
The lender has claimed all along that it had extended loans of Rs 5,270 crore to 10 different Essel group entities between 2015 and 2018, against shares pledged by promoters of the group. Owing to repayments issues, it had subsequently taken ownership of these shares. This included Dish TV, where it is the largest shareholder of the company.
Essel group Chairman Subhash Chandra, on the other hand, had said in an interview to Business Standard in March that its promoter group entities owed only Rs 4,200 crore to the bank and that the dispute was hurting Dish TV’s business and stakeholders.
Chandra also said the group was open to exploring multiple options to settle the dispute, including buying back the shares held by the bank, merging Dish TV with one of the rival players such as Airtel and Tata Play, and appointing a mediator to resolve differences.
To put things in perspective, World Crest had first approached the Bombay HC in December seeking an order declaring them as owners of the over 440 million shares of DishTV.
This came even as YES Bank had approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking a reconstitution of the board of directors of Dish TV.
In its petition to the Bombay HC, World Crest had said it was the owner of the said shares in Dish TV. And that YES Bank or any entity claiming through the lender to be the owner of these shares should not be recognised as owners.
On Friday, shares of Dish TV rose 3.08 per cent on the BSE, closing trade at Rs 11.38 apiece.