Kingfisher in talks with foreign airlines for FDI: Mallya
Bangalore: A day before making a presentation to lenders on revival plan of Kingfisher Airlines, its Chairman Vijay Mallya on Wednesday said the carrier is in talks with overseas airlines for investment.
When asked if the debt-ridden airline is in touch with overseas airlines for investment, Mallya said, "Yes, we are in talks."
He, however did not provide details citing "privacy and confidentiality" reasons.
Mallya also informed that his airline will be making a presentation to the SBI led consortium of banks.
"We have regular meetings with KFA banking consortium. I can confirm that there is meeting tomorrow. We will make presentation to them as requested," he told reporters on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the UB Group.
When asked how beneficial will be the new FDI policy, which allows foreign airlines to pick stakes in domestic air carriers, for Kingfisher, Mallya said, "It is too early to say about the status report of the FDI policy ... There is an established FDI approval procedure. I see a normal course of business going to happen."
Two days ago, SBI, the lead bank of 17-member lenders consortium had expressed the hope that Mallya will come up with "something tangible" for its revival of Kingfisher in the wake of liberalisation in FDI in the sector.
Banks together have an exposure of nearly Rs 7,000 crore in the airline and the loans have all become non-performing assets since January. SBI has an exposure of Rs 1,500 crore to Kingfisher Airlines.
The 17-bank consortium had asked Mallya to personally make a presentation on turnaround plan.
Mallya said, "Tomorrow, we have a meeting with SBI and whatever issues they will raise, we will respond."
A senior SBI official said Mallya is likely to be present at the meeting, as was demanded by the lenders in their last meeting early this month in Mumbai.
When asked about whether the meeting is a result of the demand from SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri this Monday that Mallya had to personally make a presentation on the revival plan for the airline, Mallya said, "I don't know what the SBI chairman had said. In fact, I have not spoken to him in the recent past."
The meeting assumes importance as this will be the first interaction between the lenders and the airline after the government allowed 49 percent FDI in aviation on September 14.
The meeting also comes a day after the country's largest liquor maker by volumes United Spirits, said promoter Mallya was in talks with Diageo to sell his personal stake in the company to the British liquor major.
Chaudhari had also suggested that Mallya could look at selling his stake in non-core assets at the UB Group like Mangalore Fertilisers.