Srei arm revises bid for Deccan Chronicle
Srei arm revises bid for Deccan Chronicle

Hyderabad: The revival plan for debt-laden Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) received a new leash of life with Vision India Fund, a part of Kolkata-based Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited, submitting a modified resolution plan hours after the Committee of Creditors (CoC) rejected its earlier offer on Tuesday.

The committee comprising 18 principal lenders to DCHL participated in a 24-hour electronic voting process that ended on Tuesday afternoon, but the outcome was against the plan submitted by Vision India Fund in which it reportedly quoted more than Rs 800 crore. 

Only 56 per cent votes favoured the plan against the required 66 per cent. Private lender ICICI Bank, the largest lender with about 10 per cent voting rights, showed its dissent and cast vote against the plan, saying the offer was too low. 

"A modified plan has been submitted by Vision India Fund. If this plan is considered and accepted, it will help revive the company. Deccan Chronicle is a big media brand in South India and has a lot of potential for growth. Our intention is to prevent it from going into liquidation which will obviously lead to its closure once for all", a spokesperson for Srei Alternative Investment Managers Limited (SAIML), a Srei venture, told The Hans India. He however refused to disclose the value of new offer.           

SAIML launched Vision India Fund in February 2016, with an initial fund size of Rs 2,000 crore. The fund primarily invests in financially-strained companies which can be revived through proper nursing.

Asked what was use of the new offer when the deadline for submission of an approved resolution plan to NCLT court ended on Tuesday itself, a company source maintained that the revised plan was submitted before the deadline and "we are hopeful bankers will approve it". However, it is not yet clear whether CoC will take this modified offer into consideration.   

When questioned about the allegations of Srei Infrastructure providing a backdoor entry to existing promoters through its proposal, the source said the allegations were false and added:  "Current promoters (T Venkatram Reddy and family) are not partners of Srei in anyway. They have not cleared our loan so far. Then, where is the question of we facilitating backdoor entry for them? 

Deccan Chronicle brand has lot of potential and that's why we are investing," the source explained. DCHL borrowed funds to the tune of Rs 300 crore from Srei Infra. As the media house had defaulted on repayment, the finance company converted part of its loan as equity. At present, Srei Infrastructure Finance is the largest shareholder in DCHL, with over 30 per cent stake.   

Meanwhile, Insolvency Resolution Professional (IRP) Mamta Binani submitted a progress report to NCLT court on Tuesday after her resolution plan failed to muster CoC support. The next hearing of DCHL case is scheduled for July 17.         


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