Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group, which is heavily indebted and which has stakes in various media-related businesses, has seen some of those holdings reduced because lenders have opted to convert their debt into equity.
The affected businesses include Zee Media (formerly Zee News), Dish TV, Siti Cable and other Zee channels. Essel had pledged shares in those companies as security against borrowings.
Regulatory filings in India show that two interested parties acting on behalf of the lenders have converted the notes into millions of shares. Some 5.26 per cent of Zee Media has changed hands, while 5.12 per cent of DTH operator Dish TV have also been converted. For Citi Cable it is 9.96 per cent.
This means, for example, that – ultimately – Essel’s Digital Satellite Holdings now controls only 8.55 per cent compared with 13.88 per cent before the debt-into-equity moves.
Zee Learning, an education channel, has seen 4.85 per cent of Essel’s holding converted by the lenders.