Turning down a request for Rs.200-crore working loan by Kingfisher, the State Bank of India-led lenders consortium, on Thursday, asked SBI Capitals to chalk out a fresh revival plan for the cash-strapped airline in the next 2-3 weeks.
Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya made a presentation at a meeting with lenders in Bangalore on Thursday, the first such meeting after the government’s policy decision to allow foreign airlines to invest in domestic carriers.
According to the lenders, Mr. Mallya did not offer any concrete revival plan as he could not commit on equity infusion by the promoters.
An official from a public sector bank said the lenders turned down a request from Mr. Mallya for an immediate working capital loan of Rs.200 crore. Since January, the airline has not been servicing its Rs.7,000-crore bank debt.
The official said the lenders had asked SBI Capitals to make a new revival plan, the third one, for the airline in the next 2-3 weeks.
Though the company suggested a second debt restructuring, nothing was finalised, a source said.
When asked whether banks were open to a second CDR in two years, the source said that would depend on the SBI Caps’ proposal.
The meeting comes amidst reports of the airline talking to prospective foreign airlines to offload its stake.
At the last meeting on September 3 in Mumbai, the bankers had demanded that Mr. Mallya should make the revival plan. This is the third time that SBI Caps has been asked to prepare a rejig exercise for the airline.
In 2010, it had made a debt recast plan for the airline, and, in November that year, its Rs.6,500-crore worth loan was recast.
Earlier this year, SBI Caps was asked to make another revival plan.
Circuit limit halved
Meanwhile, the Bombay Stock Exchange, on Thursday, halved its circuit limits on shares of Kingfisher Airlines and group firm United Breweries Holdings, capping their maximum movement in a day at 5 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
The proposed changes, announced by the BSE through a circular and will be effective from Friday, follow a sharp rally in the share prices of the two companies in the past few days.
Earlier, Kingfisher shares were allowed an upward or downward movement of 10 per cent in a day, while the circuit filter limit for the group’s holding firm United Breweries (Holdings) was 20 per cent.
The exchanges generally lower the circuit filter of a stock as part of their surveillance mechanism to avoid excessive movement in the share price. Kingfisher shares, on Thursday, rose by 8.03 per cent to close at Rs.16.96 on the BSE, after touching an intra-day high of Rs.17.18 - its highest level in a month. The stock had gained 9 per cent on Wednesday as well, after Mr. Vijay Mallya said the air carrier was in talks with foreign airlines for possible stake sale.
UB Holdings had also gained nearly 11 per cent on Wednesday, although its share price settled only 1.85 per cent higher at Rs.146.05 in Thursday’s trade. Earlier in the day, UB Holdings had risen to as high as Rs.155.85 — its highest level in a year. While Kingfisher shares have been rallying sharply in the last couple of weeks, shares of other group companies have been on an uptrend for much longer period, largely on reports and speculations about stake sale in various businesses.
The National Stock Exchange and the BSE have also sought clarifications from Kingfisher Airlines on reports that the carrier is in talks with foreign entities and domestic investors for stake sale.
Both bourses in separate notices on Thursday said they were awaiting the response from Kingfisher.