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Kingfisher to hold back on IPO

Mallya said Kingfisher Airlines also plans to launch dedicated cargo services aircraft.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2006 17:30 IST

Kingfisher Airlines, which had planned to come out with an Initial Public Offering this year, will not do so till it discovers "optimum value" for the shares, UB Group Chairman Vijay Mallya said on Thursday.

Asked if the change of plans were related to the stock market crash, he said Kingfisher Airlines is extremely well- funded and it was not dependent on an IPO.

".. That (IPO) is not a necessity or an imperative for us because we are well-funded. Kingfisher Airlines probably has the highest paid-up equity capital of any airline in India -- Rs 372 crore to be precise."

"If the (stock) markets improve...And if we get full value....Please understand that the determining factor (to go in for an IPO) is not the (performance of) markets. Its the shareholder value and the value of Kingfisher Airlines itself."

"Unless we find optimum value, we are not going to dilute. Its a 100 per cent company of UB Holdings and it will stay that way till full value is realised for the benefit of shareholders of UB holdings," he said.

Asked when he expected Kingfisher Airlines to get "optimum value", Mallya said he is no "crystal-gazer" and he cannot make a forecast.

On reports that Airbus Industry might delay delivery of A380 and A350 to different airlines, Mallya said acquisition plans of Kingfisher Airlines would remain unaffected as its delivery was due only in 2010 when Airbus would have solved their problems.

Mallya said Kingfisher Airlines has plans to launch dedicated cargo services aircraft.

"Right now, we have capacity to carry cargo in the underbelly of Airbus fleet. We are currently looking to fill our existing belly space with cargo. Next step would be dedicated cargo services. But clearly, cargo is a huge opportunity in India. So, we will keep on top of it," he said.

Mallya said Kingfisher Airlines is keen to operate international flights and has applied to the Government of India for a "review of five-year ban on international flying" on new carriers.

"I am sure the application will be considered. If the Government, for whatever reason, is unable to review the policy,I have said I have made alternative plans to fly," he said. "Because I cannot possibly keep brand new wide body aircraft on the ground."

First Published: Jun 16, 2006 17:30 IST