State Bank of India (SBI)-led consortium of lender banks has challenged the objections raised earlier this month by the Vijay Mallya-owned United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL) that said the lender banks sold its pledged. The consortium of banks filed counter-objections against the claim of Rs.594 crore made by UBHL for what it called presumptive loss on a hurried transaction.
UBHL had filed its objections April 5 before the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT), Bengaluru, stating that lenders sold pledged shares of United Spirits at a lower price. The lenders, UBHL contended, had caused the company huge losses as it sold the 2.6 million shares pledged with them as guarantee for the Rs.7,000 Kingfisher Airlines loans in a hurry April 2013. The value of shares, which stood at Rs.1,837 apiece then, had risen to a high of Rs.4,080 apiece in April 2015.
However, the lenders objected to Mallya's claim at this stage, when the case is on the verge of being settled, and called it a strategy to delay the process of justice, and perhaps an attempt to subvert the judicial process.
The lenders argued in their counter submissions Wednesday April 13 that UBHL's objections have come too late in the day, as the sale of shares had taken place as per the provisions available to them under the Recovery of Debt Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993. Accordingly any objections should have been made before May 6, 2014, and with full proof of documents and evidence, reported the FE.
Admitting the lenders' counter-objections, Justice CR Benakanahalli, the Presiding Officer of the DRT, Bengaluru, posted the matter for further hearing April 21.
Meanwhile, Economic Times reported that Mallya is mulling to offer a revised repayment plan of Rs.6,000 crore out of the total Rs.9,000 crore he owes to banks as loans.
His earlier offer, laced with conditions, was akin to "spider's web," the daily quoted a banker as saying. ET added that the new offer too could come in installments till September. The banks, however, have asked for Rs.4,900 crore of his principal loan amount to be cleared immediately, while the interest could be repaid in staggered amounts.