Couches to jet: Mallya assets to go under hammer for Rs 700 cr

Mumbai: As the lenders and tax authorities cool their heels for Vijay Mallya to return to India, they will put under hammer next month assets worth over Rs 700 crore of the embattled businessman’s long-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

The items waiting for the right bidders are plenty — the erstwhile headquarters Kingfisher House near airport here; cars and office furniture; Mallya’s plush personal jet along with everything inside that include cushy couches and even a bathrobe; Kingfisher Villa in Goa famous for parties hosted by Mallya; and numerous brands and trademarks including the famed ‘Fly with Good Times’.

This would be the second try by the lenders and tax authorities at auction of these assets as part of their efforts to recover thousands of crores worth outstanding dues, after the earlier attempt for each of these properties proved to be a damp squib.

Mallya’s personal jet is being put under hammer by the service tax department, while other properties will be auctioned by the lenders whose dues from long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines have ballooned to over Rs 9,000 crore including penal interest.

For almost all the properties, the reserve price has been marked down after the earlier attempts failed to attract bidders.

The 17-bank consortium, led by the State Bank of India, is re-auctioning Kingfisher House in Mumbai and the airlines’ trademarks and brands, including the ‘Kingfisher’ logo.

On August 4, the lenders will re-auction Kingfisher House, the erstwhile headquarters of the airline, at a lower reserve price of Rs 135 crore. In the initial attempt in March to sell the property with a built-up area of over 17,000 sq ft in plush Vile Parle area near domestic airport here, not a single bidder came forward at the then reserve price of Rs 150 crore.

Banks have also put up some of the movable secured assets worth Rs 13.70 lakh lying at Kingfisher House for sale. These assets will be auctioned separately on August 25 by SBI Cap Trustee, which possesses these assets on behalf of the lenders.

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