The e-auction of the luxury Airbus A319 of Vijay Mallya, chairman of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd by the service tax department has attracted only two bidders according to official sources.
“Only two bidders have submitted the earnest money deposit (EMD) as per the norms,” said a source. This is the second time that the service tax department has conducted the auction of Mallya’s Airbus seized by the agency in December 2013, to recover a part of the tax dues of over Rs 400 crore. Earlier on June 30 the department had rejected the lone bid submitted by UAE-based aviation support firm, Alna Aerodistribution. The company had placed a bid of Rs 1.09 crore for the luxury jet, which, sources said was too low.
According to sources, Alna Aero distribution has once again participated in the bidding process that will end on Thursday night.
The luxury aircraft of Mallya is owned by C J Leasing (Cayman) Ltd and was given on lease to Kingfisher. Last year, the Bombay High Court observed there was no legal trouble in auction of the aircraft which is on
financial lease. Proceeds of the sale will be deposited with the High Court.
The tax authority has seized at least eight aircraft owned by Kingfisher Airlines and Mallya. Last year, Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL) had auctioned Mallya’s 11-seater jet to a scrap dealer in Mumbai for Rs 22 lakh.
On August 4, a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India were once again unsuccessful in auctioning Kingfisher House in Mumbai as it did not attract a single buyer due to the high reserve price of Rs 135 crore. The reserve price for the property was lowered by 10 per cent to Rs 135 crore after the first e- auction of the property in March failed.
On April 30, once again auction of brands and trademarks of Kingfisher Airlines turned out to be a damp squib as it failed to attract a single bidder for these pledged assets at a reserve price of Rs 366.70 crore.
Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines allegedly owes over Rs 9,000 crore to at least 17 Indian banks. Mallya and his companies have come under the scanner of multiple investigating agencies in the country and the Supreme Court over loan default.