The consortium of 17 lenders to the long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines have decided to move the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) against the airline chairman Vijay Mallya to stake claim to the $75-million severance package he will be getting for quitting United Spirits (USL).
Last week, Mallya quit as chairman of USL after Diageo, the majority owner of the country’s largest liquor company, agreed to pay him $75 million (Rs 515 crore) in a sweetheart deal, which has since then come under the lens of the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi’s) as well as minority shareholders.
“Since Mallya had given personal guarantees for the loans given to Kingfisher, this money (which he will receive from Diageo) belongs to us. We have decided to move to the DRT to claim that money,” a senior official of a public sector bank said.
“We are making all-out efforts to get our money back,” another state-run bank official said.
Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) owe Rs 7,800 crore to a consortium of lenders led by State Bank of India, which has an exposure of over Rs 1,600 crore to the now defunct airline.
Diageo auditors had found Mallya had diverted Rs 7,200 crore of USL funds to Kingfisher Airlines, which was later diverted elsewhere. He is also facing probe for allegedly siphoning off over Rs 1,300 crore from United Breweries.