Dish TV promoter Jawahar Goel pledges shares to rescue Essel group


Jawahar Goel, promoter and managing director of Dish TV, has offered a “substantial portion” of his fairness in the firm as security for the credit facilities availed of by the Essel group, Subhash Chandra, chairman and group promoter, said on Thursday.

Chandra’s commentary acquires significance as the group has struggled with debt for a while. Dish TV is a direct-to-home (DTH) company, and the stake of the promoter circle of relatives – led by Goel, who is Chandra’s brother – stands at 7.3 per cent, BSE data shows.

Alternatively, this promoter stake has been pledged to lenders, who have been revoking shares — in just a year, the stake has fallen from almost 55 per cent to 7.3 per cent. As a result, pledged shares as a percentage of complete fairness have dropped to 3.74 per cent from 51 per cent.

Lenders such as YES Bank are now some of the key shareholders in Dish TV, holding 24.2 per cent in the firm. Deutsche Bank, Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC), and IndusInd Bank hold 6.2 per cent, 4.7 per cent, and 3.8 per cent, respectively.

Chandra said he used to be dedicated to releasing the pledge offered by his brother and that it would not be done at a low price. “We want to deny all of the hypothesis pertaining to the shares being released at a lower price and sold to third-party investors at a higher price. This is baseless and mistaken. The (Essel) group has no such intentions whatsoever,” Chandra said.

“The group may be self-assured of returning the security cover back to Jawahar Goel and his circle of relatives. Goel has only stepped forward to offer improve, and has no financial stress whatsoever in his personal capacity,” Chandra added.

Final year, YES Bank had picked up 24.2 per cent in Dish TV after the latter defaulted on a loan. For the nine months ended December 31, 2020, Dish TV’s complete debt stood at Rs 760 crore. The company is yet to release numbers for financial year 2020-21 (FY21). In FY20, Dish TV’s complete debt stood at Rs 1,784 crore.

Final October, YES Bank used to be barred by the Delhi High Court from selling its stake in Dish TV after the latter approached the court. The injunction has stayed since then. Dish TV, in a letter to YES Bank, had said it had not pledged shares to it and that being a DTH licence holder, prior approval from the information and broadcasting ministry would be needed to effect a transfer of shares.

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