As Zee group plans to repay debt of more than Rs 200 crores during this financial year, it will still have Rs 500-odd crores of debt outstanding at the end of the year. As per its annual report for 2000-01, the group has an outstanding debt of Rs 718 crores as on March 31, 2001 compared with Rs 408 crores as on March 31, 2000.
The group's short-term loans have risen to Rs 35 crores (Rs 21.5 crores). The total unsecured loans -- comprising fixed deposits, short-term loans from banks and inter-corporate deposits (ICDs) -- have gone up to Rs 209.7 crores (Rs 22.75 crores).
The annual report also shows that Zee Telefilms has raised ICDs to the tune of Rs 124.73 crores. Out of this, Rs 79.73 crores has been borrowed from its subsidiaries and the rest from others.
According to the repayment schedule in the balance sheet, in the current year the company plans to repay Rs 208 crores.
But according to analysts, the short-term deposits and loans taken by Zee Telefilms and Zee Interactive Multimedia Ltd. are repayable within one year and then the total amount actually repayable increases by Rs 231 crores. That is, the total amount repayable this year comes to Rs 439 crores.
They added that although loans worth Rs 27.39 crore had been repaid, unsecured non-convertible debentures aggregating Rs 50 crore were due.
A scrutiny of the balance sheets of Zee and its subsidiaries shows that almost all the entities of the group have either taken or advanced loans among themselves. The two companies, where major transactions have been undertaken in this manner, are Zee Telefilms and Siticable -- which is its cable distribution arm.