MUMBAI: IDBI Bank is set to auction trademarks of ‘wilful defaulter’ Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL) on June 24, its second attempt after 2013 to recover part of its outstanding dues of about Rs 444 crore.
The move comes at a time when similar attempts by a State Bank of India-led consortium in March and April to auction the brand, logos and the corporate office of another ‘wilful defaulter’, Kingfisher Airline, did not find any taker. The consortium is also set to auction KFA promoter Vijay Mallya’s private jet on June 30.
Deccan Chronicle Holdings did not respond to HT’s email.
According to an RTI query, DC H Land King fisher Airlines are among the top 20 ‘wilful defaulters’ in India.
“Some lenders of the consortium who contested our possession of Deccan’s trademarks have withdrawn their case. We have mutually agreed to first sell the trademarks, and then decide on the proportion of sales proceeds to be taken. Let the money come to us first… This is to test waters,” an IDBI Bank executive said.
The bank has invited bids till June 23 for four title trademarks — Deccan Chronicle, Andhra Bhoomi (Telugu daily), The Asian Age and Financial Chronicle. The trademarks will be auctioned online on the portal npasource. com, according to the auction notice. The reserved prices for the trademarks are Rs 120 crore, Rs 3.5 crore, Rs 18 crore and Rs 3 crore, respectively.
Apart from IDBI Bank, the Hyderabad-based newspaper publishing company has defaulted on loans to ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and State Bank of Hyderabad. Total loan dues of Deccan Chronicle Holdings to 18 banks and other financial institutions stand at Rs 4,000 crore as on 2012.
In 2013, banks and financial institutions approached the Debt Recovery Tribunal, as well as other courts, seeking attachment of the properties of DCHL’s promoters and also winding-up of the firm. Kotak Mahindra Bank had also issued a public notice to put a claim over the trademarks, and the dispute was being adjudicated by the DRT in Hyderabad and other courts.