Stockbroker Pradeep Bhavnani tells Varun Singh he is in talks with Vijay Mallya to buy 24.9 per cent stake in the airline and its headquarters in the city. The 59-yr-old is also keen on buying Mahatma memorabilia and says he has offered Mallya Rs 50 crore
With the dream gone sour, Vijay Mallya's dream bird is willing to let go of its nest. The airline has revealed that apart from offloading 24.9 per cent stake in the company, Mallya is looking for buyers to Kingfisher House, the corporate office of the company, located at Vile Parle.
Pradeep Bhavnani was spotted coming out of Vijay Mallya's Napean Sea Road home yesterday
In fact, well-known stockbroker and businessman Pradeep Bhavnani told MiD DAY he had met Mallya and made an offer of Rs 105 crore for Kingfisher House. Bhavnani also claims to have made an offer for the stake sale. Kingfisher confirmed it is looking for potential investors without triggering the takeover code.
Thirdly, the stockbroker, who reportedly bought Mahatma Gandhi's Johannesburg house for Rs 2.25 crore in 2009, claims to have offered Rs 50 crore to Mallya to buy the Gandhi memorabilia, which the latter had purchased in an auction paying nearly Rs 10 crore. However, the company said Mallya would never sell the mementoes.
MiD DAY spotted Bhavnani leaving Mallya's Napean Sea house in his car on Sunday afternoon.
The Qube, KF House
"Mr Mallya told me that he already has got an offer of Rs 104 crore for the Kingfisher House. However, I offered him an amount above that.
Now it's up to him to take the final call. I also told him that I was interested in buying 24.9 per cent shares of his company Kingfisher Airlines, for which I am ready to shell out the required amount," Bhavnani told MiD DAY.
Meanwhile, Bhavnani, who according to certain news reports was in the race to buy the memorabilia of Bapu during the auction but failed to do so, claims that Mallya kept certain conditions in front of him before he could decide whether to part with the Gandhi souvenirs or not.
"I did show interest in getting the Gandhi memorabilia from Vijay Mallya. However, he was reluctant towards the offer and also told me that only after the other two deals take place would he think about the relics," said Bhavnani.
In his response to MiD DAY, Prakash Mirpuri, vice-president, corporate communications, UB Group, in an email said, "The Qube, KF House will be sold.
We are negotiating with 3 parties. We are in discussion with potential investors who can acquire up to 24.9 per cent without triggering the takeover code.
Pradeep Bhavnani said he met Vijay Mallya
at his residence, Niladri, yesterday
Pricing will be strictly as per SEBI guidelines. No discussion at all about sale of Gandhi memorabilia. Dr Mallya will never sell this." However, he denied that Mallya had met Bhavnani.
Bank accounts of the company still stand frozen after action by I-T department. According to reports, the airline is expected to pay an estimated Rs 70 crore that's due as service tax by March 31
For the last three months, the airline has failed to pay most employees
Pradeep Bhavnani made news on March 4 (Devotee buys gold at auction, donates it back), when he bought jewellery worth Rs 9.8 lakh from the Siddhivinayak Temple Trust at an auction and then donated most of the valuables back to the temple.