IDBI Trusteeship Services Limited (ITSL) has invoked pledged equity shares of Zee Media Corporation Limited (ZMCL) on Thursday. The invocation was done by ITSL acting in its capacity as share pledge trustee for the benefit of HDFC Limited, ITSL said in an exchange filing. The total number of pledged shares stands at 2,47,60,000. The shares are listed both on the BSE and the NSE. Zee Media shares were trading at Rs 4.45, up 0.20, or 4.71 per cent, on NSE, at the time of reporting.
ITSL is acting as a share pledge trustee for various credit facilities, wherein the shares of the target company have been pledged pursuant to respective share pledge agreement. The borrowers or intermediaries generally adopt the practice of pledging shares in the securities market to raise funds from the lenders. The borrowers find it beneficial to create a pledge in favour of the third party such as a trustee as against creating a direct pledge in favour of the lender.
Meanwhile, in November 2019, Essel Group promoters diluted their stake in Zee Entertainment by 16.5 per cent after an earlier dilution of 11 per cent to Invesco Oppenheimer for nearly Rs 6,000 crore to pare debt of the group. Over Rs 4,000 crore was raised to repay lenders who lent to the promoters against the pledged shares. The promoters are currently left with just 5 per cent stake in the company. The founder of Zee Entertainment, Subhash Chandra, also resigned as chairman of the company, in November 2019 after the promoter group sold a majority of its pledged stake in the company to a clutch of marquee investors from India and abroad.