Embattled Indian tycoon Mallya willing to reach 'reasonable' debt settlement: Report

Embattled Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya has said that he wants a "reasonable" settlement with creditor banks to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Embattled Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya has said that he wants a "reasonable" settlement with creditor banks to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Embattled Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya wants a "reasonable" settlement with creditor banks to his defunct airline, he said in an interview in London published by the Financial Times on Friday (April 29).

Mallya, 60, flew first class from Delhi to London on March 2 at a time when the Indian government and mainly state-controlled banks are trying to recover US$1.4 billion (S$1.89 billion) owed by his collapsed Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.

"We have always been in dialogue with banks saying: 'We wish to settle'. But we wish to settle at a reasonable number that we can afford and banks can justify on the basis of settlements done before," Mr Mallya told the newspaper.

 
 

"By taking my passport or arresting me, they are not getting any money," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

He said he was in "forced exile" and had no plans to leave Britain.

The Indian government wrote to its British counterpart on Thursday seeking the deportation of the liquor tycoon and Formula 1 motor racing boss, who is the target of a non-bailable warrant in a money laundering investigation.

He denied wrongdoing. "I am absolutely not guilty of any of these preposterous charges of diverting funds from Kingfisher, buying properties or stuff like that," he told the Financial Times.

An India-based spokesman for Mallya's UB Group said he had no further comment to make when contacted by Reuters.