Subhash Chandra becomes “minority” in Zee group, demonetisation led to the fall of its fortunes

According to insiders, the financial health of the company started falling right after demonetisation in 2016

Subhash Chandra (File photo)
Subhash Chandra (File photo)

NH Web Desk

Left with just 5 % of the shares in Zee Entertainment Enterprises, media baron and founder of the Essel Group, Subhash Chandra has become “minority” in the Zee group now.

He had to sell 16.5 % of his shares in order to repay the loan, effectively agreeing to become a non-entity in the company which he founded around four decades ago in 1982.

According to insiders, the financial health of the company started falling right after the demonetisation in 2016 – a disastrous move by the Modi government which former PM Manmohan Singh described as organised loot and plunder.

Ironically, Subhash Chandra and the star anchor of his news channel Zee News, Sudhir Chaudhary had supported the demonetisation with all their zeal and might.

Even at the risk of being ridiculed, Chaudhary claimed that the new currency had a microchip having a connection with the satellite to unearth black money.

A rice-trader turned media baron cum Rajya Sabha MP, Chandra plunged into financial crisis due to failed attempts on infrastructure projects. The financial health of his company has worsened after the NBFC crisis.

Chandra has a total debt of ₹ 7 thousand crores of which he owes ₹ 5 thousand crores to domestic lenders and ₹ 2 crores to Russia’s VTB Capital.

According to reports, earlier Chandra had 22.37 % stake in Zee and after selling 16.5 % his shares, he will have less than 6 % of shares in the company.

He is expected to collect ₹ 5000 through block deal which will be finalised by next week. The company has agreed in principle for the block deal, claimed news reports.

As per a business website, Block deal is a trade, with a minimum quantity of 5 lakh shares or minimum value of ₹ 5 crores, executed through a single transaction, on the special “Block Deal window”. The window is opened for only 35 minutes in the morning trading hours.

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Published: 21 Nov 2019, 6:12 PM