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Banks standby Deccan Chronicle as auction fails

Chennai, Sep 14 () : Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL),the publishers of Deccan Chronicle and owners of IPL team Deccan Chargers and PVP ventures Ltd, whose bid in the auction that took place here was rejected and is likely to be renegotiated and arrived at mutually agreed terms. Till then, the banks would standby DCHL.

On Sept 15, the BCCI meets here to discuss the DC team’s present inability to pay the previous year‘s IPL season players. As per the BCCI clause, it can cancel the DC license and cash the bank guarantee to pay the players and then open bid for an Ahmedabad team for which Videocon had evinced interest.

In such a situation, the banks who had given money for the brand would lose everything and so also the DCHL. The banks have told DCHL their decision to stay with DC and keep it alive for the forthcoming season 6. This means that the banks will have to pick up the players’ outstanding bills and also fund the next season’s game.

PVP Ventures,which was the lone bidder came with Rs 9 crore bankers cheque and rest as debentures to be cashed in various stages. DCHL wanted a bank guarantee for the entire amount and PVP walked out.

PVP is in real estate, film financing and newspaper business. They hold stakes in YSR son Jagan’s Sakshi media group for which they have been named in the CBI FIR. PVP produced ‘Naan Eee,’ an animation dominated film in which a housefly plays a pivotal role. It was a hit in Andhra and Tamil Nadu and is to release in Hindi. Currently they are producing Kamal Haasan’s Viswaroopam.

DCHL to keep its core business of running the newspaper publications pledged its trademarks of Deccan Chronicle, Asian Age, Andhra Bhoomi and Financial Chronicle. Its foray into Chennai market dominated by The Hindu and Bangalore where Deccan Herald rules cost them dearly as they had to fudge figures and dumped around three lakh copies daily to beat rivals. Its Kerala editions are a washout.

Odyssey book stores which it bought and expanded ran at a loss with it being located in high-end malls paying huge rentals. Investment in operating chartered flights and ordered small aircrafts did not take off. Battling court cases by lenders and an insolvency petition, DCHL core business may change hands, feel industry experts.