A debt fund operated by the Kolkata-based Srei Infrastructure Finance today said it has bought out the entire exposure of ICICI Bank,worth around Rs 430 crore,in the crippled Kingfisher Airlines.
Srei Infra Finance group chief financial officer Sanjeev K Sancheti confirmed the deal over phone from Kolkata and described the asset as “a good buy as it is a fully secured debt.”
When contacted,an ICICI Bank spokesperson said,”We have recovered the entire debt exposure of Rs 430 crore and currently we do not have any debt exposure to the Kingfisher Airlines.”
However,the country’s second largest lender still holds around 3 percent stake in the airline. Earlier it had 5.68 percent stake in the airline after converting the bonds the airline had issued it lenders following the November 2010 debt recast. Still 14 of the 18 lenders to Kingfisher together hold a little over 21 percent in the airline.
The Bangalore-based carrier promoted by liquor baron Vijay Mallya has been struggling to operate for nearly a year now as it has been unable to raise even working capital from banks following its over Rs 7,500 crore loan turning an NPA from January.
The carrier has not been paying salaries to employees for the past five months,besides defaulting on tax payments as well as bills to its vendors.
It has been seeking fresh bank funding since last December apart from raising overseas funds.