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    Lenders fight over Deccan Chronicle publishing titles, delay recovery of more than Rs 5,000 crore

    Synopsis

    Lenders to the troubled Deccan Chronicle Holdings are unable to recover dues of more than Rs 5,000 crore due to a dispute over the company’s publishing titles.

    Deccan Chronicle, which published an eponymous newspaper from Hyderabad and owned a cricket club in the Indian Premier League, has become the second biggest defaulter in the latest credit crunch, after Kingfisher Airlines went down owing lenders more than Rs 7,000 crore.
    MUMBAI: Lenders to the troubled Deccan Chronicle Holdings are unable to recover dues of more than Rs 5,000 crore due to a dispute between Kotak Mahindra Bank and IDBI Bank over the company’s publishing titles.

    The dispute ensured that IDBI Bank could not find any taker when it recently invited bids for newspaper titles such as Deccan Chronicle, Asian Age, Andhra Bhoomi and Financial Chronicle.

    “There is opposition to IDBI Bank’s move to auction the trademarks. So the auction has failed,” said a banker familiar with the matter, on the condition of anonymity.

    Deccan Chronicle, which published an eponymous newspaper from Hyderabad and owned a cricket club in the Indian Premier League, has become the second biggest defaulter in the latest credit crunch, after Kingfisher Airlines went down owing lenders more than Rs 7,000 crore

    The Hyderabad-based company declared itself sick last month and checked into the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction.

    Deccan Chronicle and IDBI Bank declined to comment on the matter, while Kotak Mahindra Bank did not respond to an e-mail query. An executive with IDBI Bank, however, said on the condition of anonymity, “We have a right to seek request for proposals, which we have received.

    Because of the claims and counter-claims by various banks, the sale process has been delayed.” Analysts say, the bickering between the lenders could erode the value of the group’s brands even as, unlike in the developed world, print media has a potential to grow in the country. “Compared to the global markets, the print business in India is doing well,” said Smita Jha, leader - media and entertainment, PwC India.

    “Growth is coming from the regional markets. With growing income levels, readership in regional market is growing.” Such cases have forced the Reserve Bank of India to tighten the norms for loan disbursals and recovery.

    The regulator has directed the lenders to set up a central repository of large credits and share with the banks so that the borrowers’ actual debt levels are known before sanctioning a fresh loan.
    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

    2 Comments on this Story

    Gilbert Dawson2533 days ago
    Greed is the cause of the downfall.
    Anwesa Gohil2533 days ago
    Congress ke Rahul baba aur Manmohan Singh ne is desh ka sarvanash kar diya hain. They and their party have made us public look like fools who have to tolerate mindless corruption and inefficiency on a daily basis. It is time we Indians rise and throw out these demons for good before they become a cancer in Indian society. It is time for us Indians to come together and usher in a new era of peace and secular prosperity with Namo in 2014.
    The Economic Times