Kingfisher plans to rope in investor in 90 days

Kingfisher plans to rope in investor in 90 days

Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya on Tuesday said that the airline is in discussion with a foreign investor to revive the beleaguered carrier and added that he expects some positive outcome in 90 days.

“We have submitted three different restart plans to the DGCA but have not heard back from them, however, we gather informally that they would like to see a full recapitalisation plan. In our current discussions with an interested investor we are focusing on that,” Mallya said.

He added that all he can say is that it is a foreigner, but was not at liberty to give further details because of strict confidentiality clauses.

“I expect this to take some form or shape in about 90 days which is my own estimate and it could take longer or happen even earlier.”

Declining further details, Mallya said that given all that has been speculated upon, this investor is very sensitive to identities being revealed, so, “let's give it a good try to get Kingfisher Airlines restarted and not have a situation wherein another investor has been driven away because of statements taken by somebody or actions taken by somebody or speculations in the media.”

The KFA board has also requested United Breweries Holdings (UBHL) for more funding and at least on 'humanitarian grounds' pay a month's salary to employees of the airline. “It needs to be clearly understood that this matter is not in my hands, not in the hands of UBHL but in the hands of the High Court of Karnataka and therefore we are doing everything possible to get the permission of the court to alleviate hardships being faced by employees on humanitarian grounds.”

Earlier this month, a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) secured an interim order from the Karnataka High Court restraining KFA, United Breweries Holdings and Chairman Vijay Mallya from alienating or transferring assets. We have moved court to use a part of this fund and now the rest is in the hands of the court as the case will come up for hearing on Wednesday September 25.

The principal request before the court would be to allow UBHL use its funds to pay salaries to employees of Kingfisher Airlines.

Mallya also said that USL would consider the suggestion to split the face value of USL shares.

Diageo sales to add Rs 500 cr to USL topline

Vijay Mallya on Tuesday informed shareholders at that post integration of United Spirits (USL) and Diageo, USL will be able to add more than Rs 500 crore this year to its topline by selling Diageo brand liquor in India.

He added that the integration with Diageo will be done in phases and expects revenues from Diageo to come in from October.

USL board has appointed Anand Kripalu as CEO-Designate of USL with effect from October1, 2013. That apart, former Diageo CEO Paul Walsh has joined the USL board along with HDFC Managing Director Renu Sud Karnad, the first woman to join USL board as a director. In November last year, Diageo agreed to buy a majority stake in United Spirits (USL) for a total consideration of Rs 11,166.5 crore. “The integration is currently underway and the total value of sales would be more than Rs 500 crore for the year.USL, which will be a distributor for Diageo initially going forward will get a margin of 6 per cent, subject to review by the board on a periodic basis depending on how it evolves,” Mallya said, adding that winding up petitions will not affect the Diageo deal only because specific permission under section 536 of the Companies Act from the high court to do the Diageo deal was taken.

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