National / World

Videocon Group chairman Venugopal Dhoot rubbishes reports of fleeing country

New Delhi, Mar 9 (ET): Videocon Group chairman Venugopal Dhoot on Thursday rubbished reports that claimed that he had fled India to avoid scrutiny from bankers over Rs 20,000-crore debt owed by his various firms.

“I am very much in India and have no intention to ever going out of the country….in fact, I am most comfortable here and have not stepped out of India since the last five years,” Dhoot told ET.

The State Bank of India had in the first week of January referred Videocon Industries to bankruptcy court after lenders were unable to resolve its loan by December 31. A consortium of lenders have also decided to take to bankruptcy court all step-down subsidiaries of Videocon Industries in order to put in place a comprehensive resolution plan.

The step-down subsidiaries of Videocon Industries are engaged in activities such as manufacturing, sale and distribution of consumer goods.

KPMG has been appointed as resolution professional for all these companies.

Speaking to ET, Dhoot also said he is firming up plans to pay lenders back. "I will strive my best to repay every single penny owed to the banks.”

He has hired a team of financial experts to work out the best options including sale of various assets to repay lenders.

An official familiar with the group’s repayment plan said, “The group will most likely dip into their oil business and if oil prices in Brazil moves up further improving oil prices, repayment will be on track.”

In 2015, Videocon Industries had entered into an alliance with a Bharat Petroleum Corp unit to form a joint venture called IBV Brasil Petroleo to manage oil assets in Brazil. Videocon and the BPCL unit own 20% stake each, while Brazil’s Petrobras hold the remaining 60%.

“Where companies are willing to pay, banks cannot rush to impractical suggestions under external pressure, and instead should consider reasonable repayment amounts with a reasonable time frame,” an official advising such companies said.

Meanwhile lenders that ET spoke with said the Videocon account was under resolution in NCLT and the law will take its own course.

“I believe that the promoter has clarified that he is not fleeing the country….the account is in the NCLT right now and the resolution will be decided under the IBC process,” a banker said. “Anyways the government is thinking ahead and working on laws to prevent such incidents of promoters fleeing the country from occurring again, which gives us bankers some solace.”

The banker requested not to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media on such matters.

Videocon Industries is among the second list of 28 companies that the Reserve Bank of India had directed banks to refer to bankruptcy court as a debt resolution plan couldn’t be agreed by the end of December 2017. Its lenders have an exposure of over Rs 20,000 crore, of which SBI’s dues amount to Rs 3,900 crore.

The law allows banks to refer defaulting companies to bankruptcy court and resolve the debt in 270 days or liquidate assets to recover dues.

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Comment on this article

  • Vivek, Hirebyle / Abu dhabi

    Fri, Mar 9 2018

    Tighten NOOSE around neck of all Business Man ...and see what will be the effect on GDP and Inflation B.J.P experimenting ??....

    DisAgree Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Mumbai

    Fri, Mar 9 2018

    My neighbour is a small business man. He had an old British 1955 model bullet bike and when he had big loss in the business, he sold that bike for 95000 rupees, but, I saw him crying. Today, that bike fetches about 8 lakhs, he says, being it is an antique piece.

    Why I say this is because 90% of the business men are not cheats. But, due to time, something today becomes obsolete tomorrow. They have taken loans by proper documentation. Thinking that the business will prosper, they expanded the business. The saying that one should not bite more than he can chew holds good in business. I think this Mr. Dhoot falls in this category.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed K.C., Mangalore

    Fri, Mar 9 2018

    It's very difficult to survive in business in India on borrowed money from banks with high interest rates compared to other developed countries. High rates GST also another added hindrance.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raghavendra M K, Mumbai Maharashtra

    Fri, Mar 9 2018

    Still government is not opened their eyes. why they can not cancel the passport these bank defaulters as a precautionary measure to avoid them to escape to foreign county The list of defaulter is very big. we can name few of them videocon, essar oil(ruias) J p associates, agarwal group, adani group anil ambani and more.If government is silent in this matter one can conclude that it supports to these black listed industrialists.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Truth teller, Karnataka

    Fri, Mar 9 2018

    I dont know whether people have observed or not! There is a clear pattern these days by the Modi led government to destroy Indian industry and sell them to foreign firms!. Some sinister motive is emerging!. A party that opposed anything foreign is today inviting them laying a red carpet!. Every Industry in India is fearing these days that by using this financial mismanagement issue, Modi government is trying to close Indian industry or sell them off to foreign firms!. Even banks are planned to sell to foreign banking majors saying Indian banks are becoming a liability!. Looks jokers party is getting huge funding from foreign countries!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jenifer, Mangalore

    Fri, Mar 9 2018

    Oh God ! Not another bank loot ????

    DisAgree [4] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Videocon Group chairman Venugopal Dhoot rubbishes reports of fleeing country


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