SBI starts auction of Mallya's Kingfisher House in Mumbai

Lenders to long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines, owned by beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya, on Thursday began auctioning the KFA headquarters - Kingfisher House - situated near the domestic airport in Mumbai.

Vijay MallyaVijay Mallya. Pic/Onkar Devlekar

The property, with a built-up area of over 17,000 sq ft in Vile Parle area, is being auctioned by SBICAPS Trustee, a subsidiary of SBI Caps through an e-auction. The auction is being conducted on e-auction property platform, AuctionTiger. The base price for the property has been set at Rs 150 crore.

The auction is being conducted under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (Sarfaesi), 2002. The property was taken over in February 2015 by a consortium of 17 banks lead by State Bank of India in a bid to recover Rs 9,000 crore loan given to the airlines.

Kingfisher auctionThe banner suggesting that the Kingfisher property is for sale. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Burdened under huge losses and liabilities, including to the lenders, the airline was grounded in late 2012. While lenders have stepped up their efforts to recover dues totalling over Rs 9,000 crore, the founder and main promoter Mallya left the country earlier this month. Recently, the Enforcement Directorate registered a money laundering case against Mallya and others based on a CBI FIR registered last year.

The agency is also investigating the overall financial structure of Kingfisher Airlines and will look into any payment of kickbacks. Kingfisher Airlines faces a probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) into its allegedly 'inflated' brand valuation of over Rs 4,000 crore.

The government's white-collar fraud detection agency is probing whether such a high valuation was arrived at fraudulently to get more funds from banks and siphon off the additional money for purposes other than proposed investment in the airline.

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