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JC Flowers Yes Bank ARC settles with Subhash Chandra, takes 75% haircut on ₹6,500-cr dues

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Ending a nearly two-year-long tussle between the Yes Bank and media mogul Subhash Chandra, the asset reconstruction arm of the bank, JC Flowers Yes Bank Asset Reconstruction Company, has worked out a one-time settlement (OTS) that will lead to a 75 per cent hair cut

Against an outstanding debt of ₹6,500 crore, Chandra will pay JC Flowers ₹1,500 crore to regain ownership of the family’s stake in assets, including Dish TV and Zee Learn, as well as three properties, including a bungalow in central Delhi.

Sources confirmed the signing of the agreement with businessline. “It was important to settle the matter with Yes Bank because closing the loan was a condition precedent for the ongoing ZEE-Sony deal,” said a person aware of the matter. Given Zee’s current situation, sources say this is the best that could have been worked out by the company to ensure that there is no hindrance to the transaction.

As per the terms of OTS, Zee will pay ₹1,500 crore to JC Flowers Yes Bank ARC, and out of this, 25 per cent is to be paid within 90 days. The ₹6,500 crore outstanding debt of Zee Group was the largest in the portfolio of JC Flowers Yes Bank ARC.

In April 2022, when Yes Bank transferred ₹48,000 crore of its bad loans to the ARC, the bank’s exposure to ZEE Group, including Dish TV, was said to be a part of the loans sold down. Since these assets were sold down to the ARC at a discounted value of Rs 11,183 crore, the OTS entered into by Zee and JC Flowers will not further impact Yes Bank’s financials, said a source.

Zee Learn had earlier disclosed to the stock exchanges that it signed a settlement agreement with JC Flowers ARC on August 7, 2023, to settle its obligations with respect to loans borrowed by certain trusts and entities.

Zee Learn operates a chain of over 1,700 pre-schools under Kidzee in over 550 cities across India and neighbouring countries, as well as a chain of K–12 schools—Mount Litera Zee School. The company also owns vocational institutes, the Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA) and the Zee Institute of Media Arts (ZIMA).

Meanwhile, Dish TV, which was run by Chandra’s brother Jawahar Goel, before Yes Bank invoked the pledged shares and ousted Goel.

Essel Group declined to comment when businessline reached out for a statement.





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