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Subhash Chandra moves to get family's stake in Dish TV back from JC Flowers

With JC Flowers ARC's 24.19% stake in the company, Chandra's total holding in the satellite TV operator will rise to 28.2%, if the transaction goes forth

Subhash Chandra, Zee Entertainment

Subhash Chandra

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Subhash Chandra is in talks with JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction Co (ARC) to buy back his family's shares in Dish TV for Rs 1,500 crore, Mint reported on Friday. With JC Flowers ARC's 24.19 per cent stake in the company, Chandra's total holding in the satellite TV operator will rise to 28.2 per cent, if the transaction goes forth.

Among the things Chandra has moved to regain are shares of Zee Learn and three properties including a Rs 2.8 crore bungalow in central Delhi. It is, however, unclear how Chandra will raise Rs 1,500 crore given that he still has to pay many creditors of the Essel Group.

“Chandra has approached JC Flowers for a settlement. JC Flowers is looking at a comprehensive settlement, which includes the entire portfolio," a person aware of the matter was quoted as saying in the Mint report.  

At the current share price, JC Flowers ARC's stake in Dish TV is around Rs 860 crore.

It is also unclear if Chandra will make an open offer to buy an additional 26 per cent stake in the company. Under the current rules, if an entity's ownership in a company crosses 25 per cent, they need to make an open offer for another 26 per cent.

In 2016, Chandra had borrowed Rs 5,000 crore from YES Bank against the shares of Dish TV and some real estate properties. After he was unable to service the debt, a part of the pledge was transferred to JC Flowers ARC. YES Bank owns a 9.99 per cent stake in the ARC.

This comes just a month after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) banned Chandra and Zee chief executive officer Punit Goenka from holding any managerial positions in the company. It alleged that Chandra and Goenka were actively involved in diverting company funds to the group's other listed entities and firms related to founding shareholders.

The duo approached the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) but it refused to vacate the regulator's directions, saying it did not find any illegality or irrationality in Sebi's order and saw no merit in interfering.

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First Published: Jul 21 2023 | 10:17 AM IST

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