In­debted for­mer In­dia bil­lion­aire of­fers $904 mil­lion set­tle­ment

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

NEW DELHI: Vi­jay Mallya, the for­mer In­dian bil­lion­aire now hounded by cred­i­tors, of­fered lenders as much as 60 bil­lion ru­pees ($904 mil­lion) as set­tle­ment to­ward debt owed by the failed air­line he founded, Bloomberg TV In­dia re­ported, cit­ing his lawyers. In­dia's Supreme Court was in­formed on Wed­nes­day that he will pay about 40 bil­lion ru­pees ($603 mil­lion) by the end of Septem­ber and later an ad­di­tional 20 bil­lion ru­pees he ex­pects to win from a law­suit, the tele­vi­sion chan­nel said. Banks have a week to re­spond to his of­fer. The gov­ern­ment es­ti­mates he owed 90.9 bil­lion ru­pees as of Nov. 30.

Su­manto Bhat­tacharya, a spokesman for Mallya's UB Group, said he couldn't im­me­di­ately com­ment. Ef­forts are un­der way to reach a one-time set­tle­ment with lenders based on ad­di­tional pay­ments, Mallya said in an e-mailed state­ment on March 7. Ear­lier this month, a con­sor­tium of 17 lenders, led by gov­ern­ment-con­trolled State Bank of In­dia, found out in court that Mallya had left the coun­try around the time the group sought to bar his exit. Mallya, who took over a liquor busi­ness from his fa­ther in the 1980s, started King­fisher Air­lines Ltd. in 2005, one of In­dia's lead­ing car­ri­ers un­til it was grounded in 2012 amid mount­ing debt. In March 2012, he was ranked the 45th-rich­est In­dian with a net worth of $1 bil­lion by Forbes. "In re­spect of dues of King­fisher Air­lines to the con­sor­tium of banks, State Bank of In­dia has re­ceived an of­fer for set­tle­ment of dues today which is be­ing ex­am­ined," the Mum­bai-based lender said in an e-mailed state­ment, with­out elab­o­rat­ing.

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