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Subhash Chandra to settle JC Flowers’ debt to reclaim Dish TV

Subhash Chandra is likely to settle the Rs 6,500 crore debt taken from JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction Co. (ARC) for around Rs 1,500 crore, Mint reported on Tuesday. With this, the founder of the Essel group will regain his family’s stakes in Dish TV and Zee Learn. He will also get back three properties, one of which is a bungalow in central Delhi.

“Essel Group companies had a large exposure to JC Flowers ARC of Rs 6,500 crore. Sometime back, Chandra had approached with an offer to settle. It took over a month, but finally, they agreed to settle the loans. Some amount pertains to Dish TV, some to Zee Learn and some other properties. The payment will be in phases, and accordingly, the shares of those companies will be transferred back,” a person aware of the development was quoted as saying in the report.

The report also said Chandra’s brother Jawahar Goel owns a 4.04 per cent stake in Dish TV, and the family’s ownership will rise to 28.2 per cent. It is, however, unclear how Chandra will fund the resettlement of debt.

In 2016, Chandra 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 also comes at a time when Chandra and his son, Punit Goenka, are fighting a legal battle over control of Zee Entertainment (ZEEL).

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had earlier 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. Business Standard

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