India: Former UB chairman willing to pay debts of US$ 1.3 billion

India’s Debt Recovery Tribunal has frozen shares of United Spirits (USL) to recover Rs 6,203.35 crore (US$1.3bn) following the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines in 2013 with interest and costs.

The shares of USL, an Indian alcoholic beverages company which is since 2013 majority owned by the world's largest spirits’ producer Diageo, are currently held by United Breweries Holdings (UBHL) and his former chairman Vijay Mallya. Affected are 88,79,410 shares of UBHL and 62,550 shares of Mallya valued at Rs 2 each, the Hindu Business Line reported on Thursday.

Vijay Mallya, 62-year old former chairman of Indian beer market leader United Breweries (UB) and USL, who fled India two years ago and has been living on bail in the UK since August last year, assured some days ago that he is prepared to settle all dues - to the lenders as well as to Kingfisher Airline employees:

“UBHL and myself have filed an application before the Hon’ble Karnataka High Court on June 22, 2018, setting out available assets of approximately Rs 13,900 crore (US$ 2.03 billion) . We have requested the court’s permission to allow us to sell these assets under judicial supervision and repay creditors…,” Mallya said.

On Friday Mallya's luxury A319 jet was also sold at a discount price of Rs 34.8 crore (US$ 5.05 million), less than one fourth of the initially envisaged price. The jet, which had been parked at a hangar of the Mumbai airport since its confiscation in 2013 was sold at an e-auction to the highest bidder, Florida-based firm Aviation Management Sales.

It was already the fifth attempt to sell the jet, after the initially fixed Rs 152 crore (US$ 22.2 million) as the reserve price at the first auction attempt in March 2016 as well as several other attempts with lower reserve prices failed.

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