Home >companies >news >Deccan Chronicle promoters pledge shares

Newspaper publisher Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) informed the stock exchanges on Friday that its promoters pledged a 28.71% stake in favour of ICICI Bank Ltd on 28 July. Chairman T. Venkattram Reddy, his brother and vice-chairman T. Vinayak Ravi Reddy and managing director P.K. Iyer together hold a 73.83% in DCHL.

The disclosure said the three promoters pledged 20 million shares each out of their individual holding of 51.4 million shares.

On 30 July, DCHL had informed the bourses that its promoters had pledged a 14.46% stake with Religare Finvest Ltd.

Prior to that, in a disclosure to the exchanges on 26 July, Future Capital Holdings said DCHL promoters had pledged 54% of their shares to raise a 170 crore loan.

On 31 July, Karvy Stock Broking Ltd (KSBL), which provides depository services, filed a complaint with the Central Crime Station in Hyderabad alleging that DCHL promoters forged documents to misrepresent the total number of shares they held in order to raise loans.

Karvy alleged in its complaint that the depository account holders (promoters of DCHL), “using a forged letter, committed a fraud on us and misrepresented the facts that a higher number of shares existed in their accounts for availing a loan against them, thereby committed a breach of trust and forgery."

DCHL has denied pledging the same shares twice, in a communication to the exchanges.

“We still do not know how many shares there are yet," a senior executive at Future Capital said on condition of anonymity to ‘Mint’ three days ago.

Future Capital has transferred its loan exposure to DCHL to Future Group founder Kishore Biyani “to safeguard the interests of the stakeholders of the company", it said on 7 August.

Earlier IFCI Ltd filed a wind-up petition against DCHL alleging the firm’s debt was “running into thousands of crores of rupees". It also accused it of defaulting on other liabilities and said it expected winding up petitions would be filed by other creditors.

Chairman T. Venkattram Reddy said in a 2 August front-page note in ‘Deccan Chronicle’, “DCHL would like to clarify that the real issue is a liquidity crisis that has arisen due to significant reduction in ad spend by domestic and multinational companies in India."

According to Registrar of Companies data posted on the ministry of corporate affairs website, the firm has debt of more than 1,500 crore. Shares of DCHL fell 4.9% to an all-time low of 11.65 on Friday on BSE. The benchmark Sensex was little changed at 17,557.74 points. The publications of DCHL compete with those of ‘Mint’s publisher HT Media Ltd in some markets.

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