Auction of two plush properties of Vijay Mallya’s defunct Kingfisher Airlines — Kingfisher House in this metropolis and Kingfisher Villa in Goa — proved to be a damp squib once again today with not a single bid coming in. The 17-lender consortium led by State Bank could find no buyers despite reducing the reserve prices for both the properties by nearly 10 per cent to recover loans running into thousands of crores of rupees from the airline that got grounded in 2012 under a huge financial burden. Kingfisher House, the erstwhile headquarters of the airline, was put under the hammer at a reserve price of Rs 103.5 crore while the same for Villa in Goa was Rs 73 crore.
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Mallya himself has been in the UK for almost a year despite summons against him here in India, while a number of banks have initiated recovery proceedings for their unpaid loans and some have even declared him a ‘wilful defaulter’.
In a series of tweets last week, Mallya blamed faulty engines as one of the reasons for the collapse of Kingfisher Airlines. While the auction of Kingfisher House has failed for the fourth time, Kingfisher Villa could not get any bid for the third time.
“Although there were enquiries for both the assets, no bids were received,” said a source familiar with the auction. The reserve price for Kingfisher House was cut by 10 per cent from Rs 115 crore in the previous auction held last December. Lenders had made the first attempt to sell Kingfisher House in March last year with a reserve price of Rs 150 crore, which was reduced to Rs 135 crore in the second attempt.
The prime property has a built-up area of over 17,000 sq ft and is located in the plush Vile Parle area near the domestic airport terminal. The SBI-led consortium had reduced the reserve price of Kingfisher Villa, the plush property situated at Condolim in North Goa, by 10 per cent from Rs 81 crore quoted in the second attempt at auction of this property in December.
The sea-facing property, which had been home to numerous lavish parties hosted by Mallya in the past, was put under the hammer for the first time last October with a reserve price of Rs 85.29 crore.
Auction for both the properties was conducted by SBICAP Trustee on behalf of the lenders.
Mallya owes over Rs 9,000 crore to lenders like SBI, PNB, IDBI Bank, BoB, Allahabad Bank, Federal Bank and Axis Bank, among others. He left the country on March 3 last year for the UK and Indian authorities have been trying since then to bring him back.