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Deccan Chronicle hits new low

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Shares of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd on Friday plunged to its all time low of Rs 11.65, down 4.90 per cent following new disclosures about the company pledge to the stock exchanges by ICICI Bank. The company scrip dropped from months high of Rs 31.15 over reports of winding up petition filed by IFCI and other petitions in the Debts Recovery Tribunal.

The company shares hit a 52-week high of Rs 69.15. In a latest disclosure to the BSE, the promoters of DCHL, T. Venkattram Reddy, T. Vinayak Ravi Reddy and P.K. Iyer, have pledged 20,00,000 shares each amounting to 15.04 per cent of their stake to ICICI Bank. They individually hold 5.14 crore shares, equivalent to 24.61 per cent of the company capital.

The DCHL management had last month indicated at liquidity crisis arising due to significant reduction in ad spend by domestic and multinational companies. It had also mentioned about IFCI filing petitions in the debt recovery tribunal and also in the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the latter seeking liquidation of the company for delay in payment of Rs 25 crore. In related developments, Future Capital Holdings Ltd and Religare Finvest Ltd had announced that DCHL promoters had pledged shares. DCHL had raised Rs 170 crore from Future Capital.

However, promoters of Future Capital have taken over these loans. The whole issue of shares being pledged by DCHL promoters has taken curious turn with Karvy filing a criminal case against promoters stating that they have wrongfully pledged the share to more than one company. Through a public notification, Kotak Mahindra Bank has informed that DCHL has created a first charge by way of equitable mortgage and deposit of title deeds for immovable property. They claimed first charge on the 9,892 square yards of land.

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(This article was published on August 10, 2012)
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