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Banks looking into Rs 4,000 cr proposal; Mallya may sell UB stake to Heineken

Lenders to defunct Kingfisher Airlines on Wednesday stated that they have received an offer to settle loan from the company and they will study the proposal.

Liquor mogul Vijay Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines earlier gave a proposal in the Supreme Court for settlement of Rs 4,000 crore out of the loan amount of Rs 6,903 crore to the consortium of banks, headed by State Bank of India, by September this year.

In a statement, SBI said, "The consortium of banks led by SBI confirms receipt of an offer for settlement of dues from Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. The bank, along with other consortium members, will examine the same."

The statement, however, did not reveal the amount Mallya has offered to repay to the banks.

A bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman gave the consortium of banks a week's time to reply to the proposal and forwarded the matter for hearing on April 7.

On March 9, the government had informed the Supreme court that Mallya had fled the country a few days back. A report in TOI newspaper said the industrialist, who is projected to be worth Rs 7,000 crore, is likely to trade his stake in United Breweries to partner Heineken to arrange capital for settlement with the banks. Heineken attained a 37.5 percent stake in United Breweries in 2008 through its acquisition of Scottish & Newcastle and has since increased its share to 42.4 percent.

Mallya and Kingfisher Airlines have a loan of Rs 7,800 crore from the consortium headed by SBI, which had an exposure of over Rs 1,600 crore to the airline. Other moneylenders include Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Federal Bank, UCO Bank and Dena Bank.

Last year, SBI acknowledged Mallya as wilful defaulter while Punjab National Bank declared him, his group holding company United Breweries Holdings and Kingfisher Airlines wilful defaulters last month.