Television

Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra settles 91% debt to 43 lenders

Highlights plans to venture in video in the digital ecosystem

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Mumbai: Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra has issued a second Open Letter sharing details of the debt resolution process and the steps taken to pay off the lenders. The Zee founder revealed that over 91 per cent of the debt has been settled to 43 lenders, and the remaining dues are in the process of being paid.

In his first Open Letter issued on 25 January 2019, Chandra had apologised for the hardships faced by the lenders due to the liquidity crisis triggered by the IL&FS case and committed to repay the monies to the best of his abilities. The asset divestment process took a setback during the pandemic, which slowed down the overall debt resolution process, he wrote on Tuesday.

“I am happy to report that we have come out of the financial stress situation by settling 91.2 per cent of our total debt to 43 lenders in 110 accounts. 88.3 per cent amount has been paid, while the remaining 2.9 per cent is in the process of being paid. We are making all the required efforts to settle the remaining 8.8 per cent of our total debt,” wrote Chandra. “I have no regrets for parting with a substantial ownership in the business and specially in the ‘jewels of the crown’. This was done to keep the family’s honor.”

The Essel Group chairman further added that he intends to settle the remaining outstanding dues before the end of this fiscal year or before.

He also shared that he does not regret the decision taken to part with a substantial portion of his ownership in his key businesses, attributing this decision taken to preserve the honour of his family, while reiterating the exit from the Infrastructure, Financial services & Print Media businesses.

Elaborating on his next steps in terms of setting up a venture in the video space in the digital ecosystem, Chandra said, “I have earned a fair experience in the video business; hence I am exploring new ways / business opportunities in the “video in digital space” as well as AI/ML (Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning) in the video space, without getting into any conflicts with ZEEL, in any manner. I will provide the specifics very soon and you all will witness the initial phase of launch, of yet another pioneering venture.”

Noted Investment Banker, Venture Capitalist and Stock-Market expert, Vallabh Bhansali said, "In nearly forty years of our friendship, he has always made me feel proud. His achievements as a visionary businessman pales before his act of honour to sacrifice all he built for the sake of it. So also his humility to admit his errors openly. In fifty years of my business career, I can’t think of a parallel.”

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