Home >politics >policy >J&K Bank files wind-up plea against Deccan Chronicle
Earlier, Deccan Chronicle Holdings’ bid to save its Deccan Chargers Indian Premier League franchise failed as the Bombay high court refused to stay the team’s termination by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Photo: Hindustan Times (Hindustan Times)
Earlier, Deccan Chronicle Holdings’ bid to save its Deccan Chargers Indian Premier League franchise failed as the Bombay high court refused to stay the team’s termination by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Photo: Hindustan Times

(Hindustan Times)

J&K Bank files wind-up plea against Deccan Chronicle

Bank moves AP high court to liquidate debt-laden publisher’s assets to recover dues worth `52 crore

Hyderabad: Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd has filed a winding-up petition against Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd in the Andhra Pradesh high court to liquidate the assets of the debt-laden publisher and recover dues worth 52 crore.

The petitioner asked the court to appoint an official liquidator, and restrain the company by an interim order from “disposing of, transferring or encumbering, alienating or parting with possession of the assets of the Respondent Company".

Jammu and Kashmir Bank had bought commercial paper worth 50 crore from Deccan Chronicle Holdings that matured in June 2012, the petition said. Commercial paper is a short-term debt instrument that allows a borrower to tap funds from banks, mutual funds and financial institutions for mostly working capital requirements.

Jammu and Kashmir Bank is the fifth firm to file a winding-up petition before the high court against Deccan Chronicle Holdings, seeking liquidation of the company over payment defaults.

IFCI Ltd was the first to file such a petition in July to recover 27 crore, followed by a similar petition by Hong Kong-based newsprint supplier Adonis Ltd for recovery of dues worth 128.55 crore towards the supply of about 33,794.53 tonne newsprint between September 2011 and April 2012.

The National Pension System Trust and Photon Infotech Pvt. Ltd have also filed winding-up petitions to recover their dues worth about 20 crore and 5 crore, respectively. Most petitions are pending at various stages of hearing before the court.

Emails sent to T. Venkattram Reddy, chairman of Deccan Chronicle Holdings, remained unanswered. Attempts to reach him on the the telephone were unsuccessful.

Shares of Deccan Chronicle Holdings declined 2.77% to close at 5.96 on BSE, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.88% to end at 19,339.90 points.

Deccan Chronicle Holdings, which publishes English-language newspapers Deccan Chronicle, Financial Chronicle and Asian Age, and the Telugu daily Andhra Bhoomi, has more than 4,000 crore of debt on its books.

Earlier, Deccan Chronicle Holdings’ bid to save its Deccan Chargers Indian Premier League franchise failed as the Bombay high court refused to stay the team’s termination by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

State-owned Canara Bank, which is heading a creditors’ consortium, is conducting a forensic audit on the company’s accounts.

Canara Bank, ICICI Bank Ltd and Axis Bank Ltd have already classified Deccan Chronicle Holdings’ loans as non-performing assets. Canara Bank has an exposure of 330 crore, while ICICI and Axis Bank have 500 crore and 400 crore, respectively, to the company.

HT Media Ltd, publisher of Mint and Hindustan Times, competes with Deccan Chronicle Holdings in some markets.

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