Liquor baron Vijay Mallya says in talks to settle debt with lenders

By: | Updated: March 7, 2016 10:03 AM

Vijay Mallya said in a statement late on Sunday that he had three meetings with lenders to discuss settlement of debt by making additional payments to the banks.

Vijay MallyaVijay Mallya said in a statement late on Sunday that he had three meetings with lenders to discuss settlement of debt by making additional payments to the banks. (Reuters)

Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya said he has been in talks to enter into a one-time settlement with state-run banks, to which his now-defunct carrier Kingfisher Airlines owes more than $1 billion.

Mallya last month stepped down as chairman of United Spirits Ltd, ending months of acrimony with the company’s new owner, Britain’s Diageo Plc .

The businessman, who also owns India’s largest brewer United Breweries, has been under pressure from banks to repay debts since Kingfisher Airlines stopped flying in 2012.

Mallya said in a statement late on Sunday that he had three meetings with lenders to discuss settlement of debt by making additional payments to the banks.

“I have had three meetings and follow-up calls in the recent past, and my efforts will continue,” Mallya said.

Banks have recovered an aggregate Rs 24.94 billion ($371.98 million), Mallya said.

The United Spirits board began a process last April to remove Mallya as the company’s chairman due to alleged financial irregularities. Mallya denied the allegations and refused to resign.

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