Kingfisher lenders recover Rs 336 cr more

Mumbai: Lending banks owned by former liquor baron Vijay Mallya recovered another Rs 336 crore by selling shares of United Breweries (UBL) on the open market last week. Senior officials close to the development said the shares were sold to recover loans made to the late carrier. Officials close to the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) said the emphasis was on collecting and repairing as many bad debts as possible.

The banks run by SBI had asked the court to allow them to take possession of certain shares pledged from HDFC Bank because the outstanding loans for which the loans had been pledged had been repaid. According to legal officials close to development, the banks had loaned money against corporate and personal guarantees by UBHL and Vijay Mallya, making them unsecured financial creditors. Heineken declined to comment. The multiple claimants of Vijay Mallya’s assets and the requests for intervention filed by them had added to the concerns.

“There were legal issues due to which these shares were not released. Finally, a receivership was appointed and the shares were transferred to the SBI Demat account at the end of February. We managed to recover 336 crore from Rupees by selling these shares on the open market on March 2, “said a person familiar with the bank’s stock. UBL shares fell 3% to Rs 1,213 each against Rs 1,247 per share on February 28,” indicating an increase in supplies. It is not known who bought these shares from the banks. SBI, the main lender, got around 28%, or Rs 106 crore, of the Rs 336 crore that came to the banks. is not the first time that banks have sold stocks to collect bad debts from Kingfisher.

“So far this fiscal year, we have recovered Rs 1,582 crore by selling these shares. And overall, we have recovered Rs 3,400 crore over three years through these sales as well as some properties owned by Vijay Mallya”, this person said. The main outstanding total to Kingfisher was Rs 5,400 crore, of which Rs 3,400 crore has now been recovered. Beer major Heineken is UBL’s largest shareholder with a 44% stake. Earlier this month, she approached SBI to sell them, following which the bank asked the Karnataka High Court to seek rights to a 2.8% stake in UBL on March 18.

The stake was held by United Breweries (Holdings), the holding company for all companies owned by Mallya, which is currently in liquidation. The Debt Recovery Tribunal last week transferred the stake – of 7.4 million equity shares – held by United Breweries (Holdings) to the liquidator. The shares were previously seized by the ED, which investigated allegations of money laundering against the businessman who was declared to be in willful default by the banks.

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