Beleaguered industrialist Vijay Mallya has finally hinted at smoking the peace pipe with banks, even as India's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has labelled the businessman as a wilful defaulter.
Speaking to the media after chairing the 16th Annual General Meeting of United Spirits Limited, which is now owned by London-headquartered Diageo Plc, Vijay Mallya, said, “I’m focussed on settling Kingfisher (Airlines) affairs with banks; that’s what my current focus is.” He, however, did not spell out how and when the settlement with the banks would happen.
On a lighter note he said that at the age of 60, people think of retiring and enjoying their life. Incidentally, Mallya turns 60 next month.
Mallya's now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) has a debt of around Rs 7,000 crore with a 17-member banking consortium. SBI has the largest loan exposure of around Rs 1,500 crore. The other banks include Punjab National Bank, IDBI Bank, Bank of Baroda, UCO Bank, Bank of India, and Central Bank of India, among others.
KFA has been grounded since October 2012 and since then, Mallya has been fighting multiple legal battles as creditors -- both secured and unsecured -- have been exploring all options to recover their monies.
However, Mallya hasn't commented about settlements with non-bank creditors, who had issued unsecured loans to KFA. Some of these creditors filed winding-up petitions in the Karnataka high court against KFA and Mallya’s United Breweries Holdings, which has a significant exposure in KFA.