Market watchers, participants and intermediaries are approaching trading hours on Monday with great trepidation, against the backdrop of the Zee Group shares' implosion and Chairman Subhash Chandra's open acceptance of flaws and issues within the companies that he helms.
With inordinately high debt levels and promoter holding compromised, their focus now is on not just how the market reacts but equally on Chandra's next move to cauterise the Friday's wounds.
Apart from huge MF and NBFC exposure amounting to Rs 12,000 crore, a large number of private sector and PSU banks have also provided funding of hundreds of crores to the promoter holding companies, as well as to their private companies operating roads, solar projects, etc.
The group's total debt is estimated at over Rs 20,000 crore, and to make matters worse, none of it is in Zee Entertainment which at least has cash flows and could service debt.
There is now a big question mark around how this huge debt burden will be serviced and repaid as any stake sale transaction, for which there is anyway no visibility at the moment, will take months to complete in view of multiple approvals required.
What is of concern is that the Zee Group implosion comes on the back of an existing imperilled IL&FS which continues to rock the financial system. With no resolution in sight to the IL&FS crisis, the Zee problems come like a double whammy for the market and the debilitated banks.