CHENNAI: The Indian Overseas Bank on Thursday issued a takeover notice of four properties belonging to Aascar Ravichandran of Oscar Films Pvt Ltd, who most recently produced Shankar’s I, for defaulting on a Rs 96.75 crore loan. The four properties include one in Ashok Nagar and a flat on Prithvi Avenue, Mylapore in Chennai, a theatre complex in Vellore and another theatre complex in Salem.
Responding to this, Aascar Ravichandran told Express that it was “regular fare” in the cinema business and that he would bounce back in a month or so. “I wrote back to the bank reminding them that I have been doing business with them for over 10 years and that I would have paid about Rs 120 crore in interest alone to them. Today, things are a bit down so they have asked for the collateral, but I will settle all this in the next two months and they will do business with me again after that,” he said confidently.
Despite Shankar’s I making a substantial amount of money at the box-office, Ravichandran’s bad streak with unreleased films like Jayam Ravi’s Bhooloham and Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam 2 cost him dear. “I’m hoping to release the latter in June after Kamal shoots the last few portions for me. This is normal in the cinema business and people should be proud that I have paid so much interest and continue to invest in cinema despite all these losses,” he added.
Ravichandran has been one of the most flamboyant producers in Indian cinema, spending large sums of money on lavish sets, big budget films and flying down stars like Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger for audio launches.
According to the public notification released by the bank, Oscar Films Pvt Ltd had been issued a warning to pay an amount of Rs 96.75 crore, including interest and other charges, toward a loan taken by the company in a public notification issued on December 11. The notification had given the production house a period of 60 days to pay the amount. During this period, Ravichandran sought some time as he had just released theatrically after a three-year production cycle. Recently, the bank had restrained him from releasing his film Bhooloham, through an order from the Debts Recovery Tribunal.
Following the failure of the production house to pay the amount by the deadline, the bank issued another public notification on Thursday where it announced that four properties belonging to the production house and the guarantors of the loan have been taken over by the bank. It further added that Rs 83.82 crore of the original amount remains unpaid.