SBI initiates insolvency proceedings against Videocon promoters

SBI initiates insolvency proceedings against Videocon promoters

A Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has initiated personal insolvency proceedings against Videocon Industries promoters Rajkumar Dhoot and Pradipkumar Dhoot adding to the Dhoot family’s problems even as they are under investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

In a petition filed by Videocon resolution professional Asish Narayan on behalf of the group’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), insolvency petitions have been initiated against the Dhoots in their capacity as personal guarantors to recover dues from the company.

In two separate petitions both seen by ET, SBI has sought to invoke Rs 6158 crore of personal guarantee given by Pradipkumar Dhoot to pay off the oustanding loans of the group while Rs 5353 crore has been sought to be recovered from Rajkumar Dhoot against the guarantee given by him for a mix of term and working capital loans granted to the company over the years. These petitions will be taken up again on January 27.

“This is the first step for invocation of personal guarantees of the Videocon promoters. Chairman Venugopal Dhoot is also on the radar and a petition seeking the invocation of his guarantee will be taken up by the court on January 29,” said a person familair with the case.

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is representing SBI in the case. Biswajit Dubey appeared on behalf of the law firm.

Chairman Venugopal Dhoot is already under CBI investigation on charges of causing a wrongful loss to a consortium of Indian PSU banks led by (SBI) which according to the investigating agency has caused wrongful gains to Videocon.

The case is related to former ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar and her husband Deepak Kochhar in which preliminary investigations have alleged corruption, cheating and criminal conspiracy to dupe the banks.

Allegations against Dhoots and
Videocon is that they committed several irregularities in acquisition of oil and gas assets in Mozambique in Africa.

The total Videocon group exposure to creditors led by SBI is Rs 57,444 crore. Last month lenders voted in favour of Vedanta Group’s Twin Star Holdings at a whopping 88% haircut to a part of the company’s business including its oil and gas assets which had outstanding loans of Rs 30,000 crore. Two other companies are undergoing bankruptcy process seperately.

Videocon has 54 financial creditors led by SBI which owns19.15% of the debt. Vedanta’a proposal is awaiting the nod from the NCLT.

SBI has been aggressively invoking personal guarantees of defaulting promoters as it seeks to increase recover especially in stressed assets which yield low recoveries. In September it had similarly invoked the personal guarantees of Bhushan Power & Steel promoter Sanjay Singal which is undergoing a long drawn process.

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