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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

No link between Diageo deal, Kingfisher: Mallya

IANS  New Delhi, November 09, 2012
First Published: 19:19 IST(9/11/2012) | Last Updated: 21:49 IST(9/11/2012)

Vijay Mallya on Friday said the Diageo-United Spirits deal has no implications for his cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines, as both are independent businesses.

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"We have multiple businesses and each business operates independent of each other. There is no cross contamination. There never has been, there never will be," Mallya told reporters over phone from London.

Spiking speculation that the deal with Diageo would help refunding of Kingfisher, Mallya said he would address the financial issues of Kingfisher Airlines separately and that he did not want to mix the Diageo-United Spirits deal with that of his airlines.

"I have now done what I think is best for my Spirits business and, of course, we will also address the needs of Kingfisher Airlines."

Mallya was speaking after the world's biggest spirits group, Britain-based Diageo Plc agreed to buy a controlling 53.4% stake in the liquor baron's United Spirits in a Rs. 11,166.5 crore ($2 billion) deal.

There were speculation that the funds generated out of the deal may be used to revive the cash-strapped airline.

The airline has a total debt of Rs. 7,000 crore from a consortium of banks.

It has been asked by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to pay back dues worth Rs.290 crore, or cease operations at Chennai and Kolkata airports.

Other airport operators, including oil companies and vendors, have also not got their dues.

The airline has been asked to prepare a revival plan and present it to the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which will take a final call on revoking the airline's operations licence.

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