By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, April 4 (IANS) The beleaguered Videocon Group has admitted to stupendous outstandings to various lenders – public and private – amounting to over Rs 90,000 crore, making it perhaps the biggest corporate bankruptcy case in Indian banking history, official sources said on Thursday.
The two main group companies – Videocon Industries Ltd (VIL) and Videocon Telecommunication Ltd. (VTL) – owe Rs.59,451.87 crore and Rs.26,673.81 crore, respectively or a staggering Rs.86,125.68 crore to Indian banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI).
Besides, 731 other Operational Creditors have made separate claims of Rs.31,117, 971,029 (VIL) and Rs.12,669,978,507 (VTL) for a total of over Rs 90,000 crore, the sources said.
Interestingly, even the Group promoters – Venugopal Dhoot, Pradipkumar Dhoot and Rajkumar Dhoot – have also filed claims of Rs.57,823.24 crores on the basis of personal guarantees provided by them for various facilities availed/guaranteed by VIL, which are under evaluation.
The VTL has also claimed Rs.17,86,94,69,659 from VIL on which there is no dispute and has been accepted in toto.
This and other data has been uploaded by the company’s Resolution Professional (RP) on its website today for varing periods ranging from November 2018 to January 2019.
Industry sources say this will be the biggest private sector bankruptcy in India after the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was introduced in 2016 for debt resolution – with wide-ranging ramifications for both the corporate world and the banking sector.
Last year, the company was sent by the SBI to the National Company Law Tribunal after the Dhoot-family owned company defaulted on its loans.
As per the IBC regulations, the company’s board of directors has been suspended and a RP appointed to manage its routine daily operations.
Revealing the figures of claims, VIL has named a whopping 54 Indian and foreign banks, financial institutions and even a cooperative bank to whom it owes a staggering Rs 59,451.87 crore.
Against this, claims of Rs.57,443.62 crore have been admitted while claims of Rs 1,149.57 crore have been rejected and those worth Rs.782.24 crore are being verified.
There’s the ICICI Bank with a claim of Rs 3,318.08 crore on VIL and another Rs 1,439 crore on VTL.
It may be recalled that in January this year, the CBI had booked the then ICICI Bank Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, VIL’s Venugopal Dhoot and others, in an alleged quid pro quo loan scam, for criminal conspiracy and cheating.
Later that month, Chanda Kochhar quit but in a drastic action, she was sacked by the bank which also revoked all her entitlements and appointed a new COO, Sandeep Bakshi, in her place.
On January 31, the Justice B.N. Shrikrishna Committee appointed to probe the scam found her guilty of flouting the ICICI Bank’s Code of Conduct as she failed to discharge her fiduciary functions to rescue herself to avoid any conflict of interest.
Among the claims of VIL’s 54 lenders are 34 banks with SBI making the biggest claim of Rs.11,175.25 crore; from VTL’s total 34 lenders, SBI has claimed the highest amount of Rs 4,605.15 crore.
From VIL, the second highest claimant is IDBI with Rs 9,561.67 crore crore. From VTL, the Central Bank of India is the second biggest claimant with Rs 3,073.16 crore.
From VIL, the Latur Urban Cooperative Bank (Maharashtra) is the lowest claimant with Rs 33 lakh and from VTL, the lowest claim has been submitted by Bank of Maharashtra for Rs 21.13 crore.
(Quaid Najmi can be reached at [email protected])