Willful Defaulter Vijay Mallya flees

Vijay Mallya's escape from India last week has raised many questions which may be answered as the circumstances of his escape unfold
Vijay Mallya's escape from India has raised many questions which may be answered as the circumstances of his escape unfold

NEW DELHI (TIP): Liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who is facing legal proceedings for allegedly defaulting loans of over Rs 9,000 crores from various banks, had left the country a week back, government informed the Supreme Court, March 9. “I spoke to the CBI a little while ago and it told me that on March 2 he (Mallya) left the country,”

Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi told the bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman. The bench issued notice to Mallya and sought his response within two weeks on pleas filed by a consortium of banks seeking direction for freezing his passport and his presence before the apex court.

Since the court was informed that Mallya has already left the country, probably to UK, the bench allowed the plea of AG that the notice to him can be served through his official Rajya Sabha Email ID, Indian High Commission at London and also through counsel representing him before various high courts, Debt Recovery Tribunal and also through his Company.

Vijay Mallya was hit by a double whammy on Monday, March 7 as a Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) restrained him from accessing the ?515 crore that he received from the sale of the spirits business to Diageo Plc while the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a money laundering case.

The $75 million deal with Diageo was struck last month to get Mallya to relinquish the chairmanship of United Spirits Ltd (USL), which the British spirits maker now owns. However, Mallya will not be able to get hold of the cash, at least for the time being, with the DRT responding to a petition by SBI and other banks.

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If this was not enough, the ED also registered a case against Mallya, and the former chief financial officer of Kingfisher Airlines for fraudulently obtaining a ?900 crore loan from IDBI Bank and laundering the money.

The ‘King of bad times’ : From a flamboyant billionaire to a man who watched his empire go bust, this is how Vijay Mallya lost his ‘monies’:

Here’s what Mallya owes banks: SBI: 1,600 cr PNB: 800 crIDBI: 800 cr Bank of India: 650 cr, Bank of Baroda: 550 cr, United Bank of India: 430 cr, Central Bank of India: 410 cr, UCO Bank: 320 cr, Corporation Bank: 310 cr, State Bank of Mysore: 150 cr, Indian Overseas Bank: 140 cr, Federal Bank: 90 cr, Punjab & Sind Bank: 60 cr, Axis Bank: 50 cr

Assets listed in India: 33% in United Breweries, which is worth Rs 7,000 crore. But more than half of the stake is pledged. 22%interest in Mangalore Chemicals &Fertilizers, which is worth Rs 140 crore. One-third of the shares are pledged. 52%of UB Holdings, a shell company, which has some real estate in Bangalore and other places, but the rentals have already been pledged. Under 1% stake in Bayer Corp Science, but Mallya remains its chairman.

The rise:

1983 | After his father’s death, Mallya becomes UB group chairman at 28.

1999 | Launches Kingfisher Strong, which changes beer consumption nationally, is still the largest selling brand.

2002 | Nominated to Rajya Sabha.

The buying spree:

2005 | Launches Kingfisher Airlines (KFA). Buys Shaw Wallace, gaining whisky brands such as Royal Challenge

2006 | Buys Herbertsons, makers of Bagpiper whisky and Romanov vodka.

2007 | Buys F1 team Spyker, renames it Force India. Acquires Air Deccan. Buys British whisky maker Whyte and Mackay for £595m.

2008 | Buys IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore for $111.6m. UB City comes up in Bangalore.

The road to ruin:

2012 | KFA staff strike work for nonpayment of salaries, income-tax dept freezes KFA accounts, airline grounds flights. In Oct, government suspends KFA license. British alcoholic beverages firm Diageo agrees to buy majority stake in United Spirits

2013 | Diageo acquires 27% stake in USL for Rs 6,500 crore, but KFA lenders do not get any funds.

2014 | United Bank identifies United Breweries Holdings as wilful defaulter.

2015 | Diageo asks Mallya to step down as chairman of the Indian liquor firm but he refuses.

2016 | Banks move debt recovery tribunal, which restrains Mallya from accessing Rs 515 crore he was to receive from Diageo as settlement after agreeing to quit.

The misery Kingfisher inflicted: Over 1,500 staffers, still on the firm’s payrolls after it stopped operation, not paid? On March 5, employees write an open letter to Mallya, saying his ‘heart is impure’ and he has blood on his hands. They seek PM Narendra Modi’s help to get their dues.

His pearls of wisdom: “The only regret is Kingfisher Airlines is not flying today when the oil price is so low.” “The past few days have witnessed a near hysterical campaign in the media directed against me. All I can say is I hope some sobriety and sense will prevail and truth will not be held hostage to TRPs.”

The treasure trove: Homes in Trump Towers, New York City, and in San Francisco. Game resort in South Africa. A beachfront villa in Goa. Fleet of over 200 luxury vintage cars, a 95m ‘mega yacht’ with a helipad, a Gulfstream private jet.

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