A firm of The Pioneer group, which is owned by journalist Chandan Mitra and publishes The Pioneer newspaper, has entered bankruptcy after a plea by one of its directors.
The bankruptcy tribunal has initiated proceedings against CMYK Printech Ltd for failure to repay Rs 79.35 lakh to director Amit Goel, now the financial creditor.
The tribunal has appointed an interim resolution professional who has issued a public notice asking all creditors to come forward with their claims.
Goel, who owns around 20% in CMYK Printech, had given an unsecured loan of Rs 1.56 crore to the company's promoters in August 2018. The loan was converted into equity in September 2018, which was revoked in May 2019 following a board resolution.
Goel filed the petition in November last year.
Stressed media firms
This would be the second media group after Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) to face insolvency proceedings.
DCHL, which owns daily newspapers The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle, was declared a wilful defaulter by Indian lenders including several public sector banks.
It was dragged to bankruptcy on a plea by Canara Bank. SREI Multiple Asset Investments Trust-Vision India Fund was approved as the resolution applicant by the bankruptcy tribunal.
However, the new management is yet to take over as another lender IDBI Bank has challenged the approval.
DCHL is currently controlled by promoters. The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle employees have not received salaries for the last 12 months.
The Pioneer group publishes one of the country's oldest newspapers.
Founded by Englishman George Allen in 1865 in Allahabad, The Pioneer moved its headquarters to Lucknow, in 1933, where it remained till 1990.
The Thapar group purchased the newspaper in 1990, selling it to Mitra in 1998. The Pioneer is published from Delhi, Lucknow, Ranchi, Raipur, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Dehradun and Bhubaneswar.
As part of the insolvency proceedings, a committee of creditors (CoC) would be appointed after a fortnight.