Mallya may cede control of Kingfisher

The move may possibly pull the airline from the ongoing crisis.

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: March 28, 2012 1:04:50 am

In what may possibly pull the airline from the ongoing crisis,owner of the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines Vijay Mallya may finally relinquish management control of the airline by bringing in a clutch of investors giving them a majority stake in the airline,retaining for himself only a minority stake,said sources.

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Due to its worsening financial situation,the airline has suspended its operations from several major cities including Kolkata,Lucknow,Hyderabad,and has asked nearly 50 per cent of its 7,000 staff to stay at home till it re-capitalises,the company said on Tuesday.

According to the shareholding pattern filed with the BSE,nearly 34.54 per cent rests with the United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd,10.99 per cent with Kingfisher Finvest India Ltd,2.62 per cent with Mallya and 2.35 per cent with UB Overseas.

“The future of UB group is tied to the airline. This has led its promoter to come around to the view that to save the group,as it had stepped in as guarantor and also provided collateral,the airline will have to be sold off. The promoters may retain a minority stake but the management will pass into the hands of investors,” said a source,familiar with the development.

According to reports,UB group promoters,including Mallya,pledged over 90 per cent of their shares in Kingfisher and United Spirits to raise Rs 4,200 crore from lenders.

After its first round of debt restructuring in 2011,bankers’ consortium own a 22 per cent stake in the company. The share prices of Kingfisher and UB group have taken a beating in the last one year. The airline,burdened by a debt of over Rs 7,000 crore,did not rule out the possibility of laying off some staff saying a decision on the matter would depend upon funding.

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