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Lenders to consider restructuring DCHL: Sunil Kanoria

Srei is the single largest share-holder in Deccan Chronicle Holdings

BS Reporter  |  Hyderabad 

Lenders to consider restructuring DCHL: Sunil Kanoria

Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited, which holds 24% stake in Hyderabad-based Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL), on Monday said it was working with other lenders of the debt-laden media firm to restructure the company.

In January this year Kolkata-based Srei emerged as the single-largest share-holder in DCHL following the allotment of 66 million shares of the expanded paid up capital by the company management . The allotment of shares came after Kolkata-based Srei group initiated legal steps to recover Rs 220-crore loan from DCHL.

"We are working with other lenders of the media firm to go for the restructuring of the company. We would approach the court to seek the necessary approvals," Sunil Kanoria, vice chairman of Srei Infrastructure Fiance Limited told reporters.

When asked if the restructure of the company would mean change of management, Kanoria said their efforts were directed at strengthening the management of the company rather than effecting a change in management.

In 2012 the DCHL promoters had admitted that their company owed more than Rs 4,000 crore to various banks and financial institutions. Since then the lenders had approached various legal fora, including the courts and the debt recovery tribunals to recover their money from the company.

Some of them were able to take possession of the properties pledged against the loan while most of the others continued their legal battle as the company management had allegedly mortgaged the same set of properties with multiple lenders.

Earlier this year the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) had filed a charge-sheet alleging financial irregularities against the promoters based on a complaint filed by Canara Bank.

Konoria said all the lenders have to work together to find a possible solution. When asked if the public sector banks were agreeable to the proposed restructuring, he said they have also been coming on board gradually.

Srei was not alone in acquiring a substantial stake in the beleaguered media company.

In February this year ICICI Bank Limited had informed the stock exchanges that it had acquired 32 million shares of DCHL. The bank had also maintained that its total share-holding in the company reached 24.9% after the fresh acquisition of shares.

Earlier these shares were pledged with the ICICI Bank by the promoters against a loan of Rs 490 crore. With this the share-holding of the original promoters became near zero from a close to 15% stake they held prior to this action.

First Published: Mon, December 21 2015. 17:04 IST