ICICI's Chanda Kochhar, Videocon's Dhoot in nexus over Rs. 3,250cr-loan?
Another alleged banking scam has been unearthed, related to Chanda Kochhar led-ICICI and Venugopal Dhoot's Videocon. According to IE, Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar, Chanda's husband, established a company in 2008. Dhoot gave it a Rs. 64cr-loan through another entity of his, then transferred the lender-entity to Kochhar's trust. Months ago, ICICI had declared Videocon, which had taken a Rs. 3,250cr-loan, a non-performing asset.
How Kochhar-Dhoot set up, owned and disowned NuPower
In December'08, Dhoot and Kochhar set up NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd, with both parties holding 50% stake. In January'09, Dhoot resigned and transferred his 24,999 shares to Kochhar for Rs. 2.5L. In March'10, NuPower got a Rs. 64cr loan from Supreme Energy Pvt Ltd, which was 99.9% owned by Dhoot. By month-end, Supreme was a 94.99% shareholder in NuPower; Kochhar held the remaining 4.99%.
How Kochhar got a loan, then took over the lending-entity
A few months later, in November'10, Dhoot transferred his holding in Supreme (99.9%) to associate Mahesh Punglia. In September'12, Punglia started transferring his holding to Pinnacle Energy, where Kochhar was managing trustee. By April'13, he had transferred all shares for Rs. 9L. So Supreme, formerly owned by Dhoot, loaned Rs. 64cr to NuPower, owned by Kochhar, then got subsumed by Pinnacle, owned by Kochhar.
ICICI explains loans to Videocon Group
ICICI didn't respond to queries about the transactions, where conflict-of-interest is suspected. About the Videocon loan, it said a 20-bank consortium led by SBI "sanctioned facilities to Videocon...for a debt consolidation program and...oil-and-gas capital expenditure program aggregating Rs. 40,000cr." Of this, ICICI gave Rs. 3,250cr. "The current outstanding against this loan is Rs. 2,810cr crore and total current exposure to Videocon is Rs 2,849cr."
Discrepancies in companies' statements and RoC records
Dhoot and NuPower had similar responses: they said Dhoot had "completely disassociated" himself from both NuPower and Supreme "on the same day" by share sale. However, Registrar of Companies filings show Dhoot owned Supreme until October'10; he had resigned from NuPower in January'09. NuPower also denied conflict of interest, adding Pinnacle and Supreme have no business relationship with ICICI.
Kochhar's NuPower holding reduced from 96% to 43% in one-year
Latest Registrar of Companies records for March'17 show Kochhar holds 43.4% in NuPower as direct holding and through Supreme and Pinnacle. As of March'16, Kochhar held 96.23%. The remaining is with Mauritius-based DH Renewables. In the last six financial years, NuPower announced accumulated net losses of Rs. 78cr. In FY17, it reported a loss of Rs. 14.3cr.