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Videocon faces bankruptcy proceedings – Times of India

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NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Videocon Industries is facing bankruptcy proceedings after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Wednesday admitted a plea from lenders, led by SBI, to initiate a resolution process with a new owner to be found through a bidding process over the next 180 days.

Videocon Industries, the flagship company of the Dhoots, owes around Rs 20,000 crore to the banks and has been irregular in clearing its dues.

The bankruptcy court is due to hear a petition against Videocon Telecom on Thursday, a company which does little business now but has run up bank loans of around Rs 2,000-3,000 crore. Sources told TOI that close to a dozen companies of the Videocon Group — which has cumulative debt of around Rs 44,000 crore — are facing similar action.

While NCLT admitted the petition against Videocon Industries and appointed KPMG’s Anuj Jain as the insolvency professional, the action will not cover its subsidiary Videocon Oil Ventures that has loans of around Rs 12,000 crore and owns assets in Brazil and other countries.

The company is, however, banking on the Ordinance promulgated on Wednesday to exit the bankruptcy process. Videocon Industries chairman Venugopal Dhoot told TOI that he is hoping to use a new provision where a case can be withdrawn if 90 per cent of the creditors agree. “In our case, 100 per cent lenders had said that they do not want our company to go to NCLT,” he said over the phone. In case of the smaller companies, the Dhoots plan to use the Ordinance to acquire them, arguing that they are SMEs, where promoters are allowed to bid.

“If the process does go through, lenders will recover 75-80 per cent of the value of the loans. Property itself is valued at Rs 8,000 crore, we have 17 manufacturing units, we have a strong brand and a very good network of showrooms,” Dhoot said. But a failure to convince lenders to back his plan to withdraw the petition will disqualify the Dhoots from bidding for their flagship company.

Videocon was on the second list of companies identified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), where banks were ordered to initiate insolvency action. The Dhoots join several top names from the corporate sector — ranging from the Ruias of Essar to the Singal’s of Bhushan Group and Jaypee Group promoters the Gaurs — who are facing insolvency action after the government and the RBI launched a joint assault to rid banks of massive NPAs, which crossed the Rs 8.5 lakh crore mark at the end of March.

Under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Jain will have 180 days to turn around the company, with an option to extend the deadline by 90 days. If a resolution plan is not finalised during this period, the company will have to go into liquidation.

The company had availed of loan facilities of over Rs 3,900 crore from SBI, said the bank’s lawyer to NCLT. Videocon Industries shares closed 4.7 per cent lower at Rs 9.05 on the National Stock Exchange.

Updated: June 6, 2018 — 9:12 pm

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