Crisis-hit Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) is in talks with a foreign investor for potential stake sale, its Chairman Vijay Mallya said here on Tuesday.
He, however, refused to divulge the investor’s name.
“I expect this to take some form or shape in about 90 days. That is in my own estimate. It could be longer or it could be even earlier,” Mr. Mallya told reporters after the annual shareholders meeting of the company.
Kingfisher Airlines has remained grounded for almost a year now under the burden of huge debts, totalling over Rs.7,000 crore and accumulated losses of more than Rs.16,000 crore.
Asked about the investor’s profile, Mr. Mallya said he was unable to reveal anything at this moment as it was something that would breach the confidentiality of agreement. “The investor is very sensitive to identity being revealed. Let us really give it a good try to get KFA started,” he added.
To a query, Mr. Mallya said the United Breweries Holdings Ltd. (UBHL) board had considered the request of the KFA board for continued funding in the light of the prospective investor, and agreed to provide some funding for KFA.
“UBHL itself cannot use its own funds and its assets that it currently has because of the restraining order from the Karnataka High Court. We have, in fact, applied to the court’s permission to use part of this fund, and now it is in the hands of the honourable court,” he said.
On the response of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to the airlines’ submission of revival plan in a bid to restart limited operations, Mr. Mallya said the company had not heard from the aviation regulator, but gathered informally that they would like to see recapitalisation plan.
Asked whether UBHL had agreed to pay employees’ salaries, Mr. Mallya said: “Yes, that is the principle request before the honourable court.”
Queried if there was any contingency plan in case the court did not take it up, he said: “I have no contingency plan to violate or deviate from the orders of honourable court.”