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SREI Infrastructure emerges as single largest shareholder of Deccan Chronicle

MUMBAI: In a new turn of events, SREI Infrastructure Finance has emerged as the single largest shareholder of debt-ridden Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL).

The Kolkata-based lender will hold 24 per cent of the total expanded paid-up equity share capital of DCHL. The promoters of DCHL had 15.39 per cent stake, according to the data provided by the print media company till November 2014. Religare Finvest is the next in line with 14.45 per cent shares.

Post expanded equity, the promoter group holding is set to drop further to 11.69 per cent. The other shareholders will also see a drop in their holdings following the issuance of equity shares to SREI.

DCHL, which publishes Deccan Chronicle and Financial Chronicle, has allotted 66 million (66,037,735) fresh equity shares to one of its Kolkata-based lenders, SREI Infrastructure Finance, on a preferential basis.

The company issued the shares at a price of Rs 2 each, including a premium of Rs 1.18 per share.

In a filing with the BSE, Deccan Chronicle said that this is pursuant to orders of the Debt Recovery Tribunal – I, Kolkata, dated 24 December 2014, and pursuant to meeting of the board dated 16 January 2014, and meeting of the preferential issue committee of the board dated 8 September 2014.

The said shares have been issued pursuant to the conversion option exercised by SREI.

Earlier, SREI had given around Rs 220 crore (Rs 2.20 billion) to Deccan Chronicle in the form of short-term loan. As the company failed to repay, SREI initiated legal proceedings and approached the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT).

The promoters of DCHL have been plagued with multiple legal cases as well as a CBI investigation over the default on payment of loans and other related irregularities.

Deccan Chronicle shares closed at Rs 2.43 apiece, up 4.74 per cent on the BSE on Monday.