Zee MD Punit Goenka assures investors that the company aims to repay their outstanding debt in 3 months

Punit Goenka(Source:livemint.com)

In an interview with ET Now, Zee MD Punit Goenka allayed investor fears surrounding debt mounting on the Zee Entertainment, saying that his company aims to pay back the outstanding amount in the next three months through asset divestment, ahead of the six-month extension given to them by lenders.

The Zee Entertainment is in the throes of debt repayment with its promoters’ debt still at Rs 6,300 crore against Rs 13,400 crore at the start of 2019.

The Essel Group which is the promoter of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has informed its investors that none of ZEEL’s shares were pledged to Russia’s VTB Capital Plc, in the structured loan arrangement inked between the firms in September 2017. The development comes after both, VTB Capital Plc and Essel Group, disclosed to stock exchanges on Friday that ZEEL’s promoters have created an encumbrance on 10.2 crore shares, translating to a 10.7% stake held by promoter entity Essel Media Ventures Ltd, in favour of VTB Capital.

Clarifying his organisation’s stance, MD Punit Goenka said, “VTB transaction was always considered as a part of total loan that was payable by the promoters even back in January when the total outstanding loan was Rs 13,000 crores. Today that number stands at around Rs 7,000 crores. VTB was part of that 13,000 and is a part of 7,000 as well. The VTB loan stands at Rs 2,000 crores and Rs 5,000 crores is in the domestic markets. We are working with VTB and paying them some part of the loan in the next tranche of the sale after which they will actively consider restructuring the loan.”

Goenka further added that to address the domestic loan of Rs 5,000 crores, the organisation is intending to sell two of its assets-205 MW Solar power to realise Rs 1,300 crores of EV value and are in talks to sell another 80 MW plant and some other road assets are also there. In between these two, the company aims to pay off a significant amount of the domestic loan and for the residual amount, Zee MD plans to divest at max another 10 per cent of Zee to take care of the entire debt.

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