SBI-led lender banks take over Kingfisher House in Mumbai

Clamping down on the assets of the Vijay Mallya-led UB Group, a consortium of lenders to the failed Kingfisher Airlines led by the State Bank of India today took over the prized Kingfisher House in Mumbai, estimated to be worth Rs100 crore.

Vijay MallyaThe lender consortium of 17 banks, most of them state-owned, has taken possession of the over-17,000 sq ft property at Vile Parle, near the domestic airport, as part of its efforts to recover Rs6,800 crore in dues owed to them by Kingfisher.

The airline said in a statement that it today handed over possession of Kingfisher House to SBICAP Trustee, a security trustee for Kingfisher's lenders.

This is "without prejudice to all of the rights, remedies and contentions of the company including the right to file appropriate proceedings to challenge the said order dated 12 February 2015", Kingfisher said.

The order, passed by a chief metropolitan magistrate, had allowed the banks to take over the possession as part of their recovery process, which they had started back in February 2013 after the airline stopped servicing its debts.

Kingfisher House is one of the prime real estates of the airline, which was once touted as the most luxurious carrier in the country and one of the crown jewels of liquor baron Mallya's UB Group.

The airline was grounded in October 2012 and its flying permit was cancelled in December that year.

The other collateral left with the banks is Kingfisher Villa in Goa, which has a market value of under Rs90 crore.

Asked about the status of the Income Tax and Service Tax Departments' claim on the same property, SBI's deputy managing director & group executive for stressed assets management Parveen Kumar Malhotra told PTI that the banks have to discuss that with the tax authorities and a decision would be taken only after that.