Satellite TV broadcaster Dish TV India, which reported a loss of Rs 1,800 crore in the financial year ended March this year, has called a shareholders meeting on June 9 to appoint new directors as requested by its lenders. The lenders, including Aditya Birla Capital, JC Flowers, Indusind Bank and Phoenix ARC, are planning to sell the company after a new board is appointed.
The lenders of Essel group acquired a majority stake in the company after invoking the pledge of the promoter, the Subhash Chandra family, which defaulted on its loans. The EGM has been called by the lenders to appoint three of their nominees while seeking removal of the current two directors who are affiliated with the erstwhile management, according to a notice sent to the stock exchanges on Monday.
“Once the board of directors is reconstituted, the first priority will be to sell the asset to the highest bidder. We have already informed the suitors,” said a banking source, asking not to be quoted. The founders of the company currently own 4 per cent in it.
The buyers are waiting for the outcome of the litigation between the firm and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which directed the company to pay Rs 5,652.28 crore towards licence fee since the grant of respective DTH lcences up to financial year 2021-22 (including interest till March 2023).
In a communication to the company, the Ministry has said the amount was subject to verification and audit and the outcome of various court cases pending before various courts including the Supreme Court of India. The company has disputed the demand.
In January this year, the company received a letter from the office of the Director General of Audit (Central Expenditure) (CAG) regarding audit of license fees paid/payable to the government. The company has filed an application before the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh at Jammu against the conduct of CAG audit which has stayed the audit.
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Dish TV India