A Hyderabad-based firm Saturn Realtors has bought absconding businessman Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher House at plush Vile Parle area in Mumbai for Rs 52.25 crore in the ninth attempt by the Debt Recovery Tribunal. Kingfisher House was the erstwhile headquarters of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines owned by Mallya, who was declared a fugitive economic offender for defaulting on loans and for allegedly defrauding banks.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, Saturn Realtors paid Rs 2.612 crore as stamp duty to Maharashtra government for this deal which was registered on July 31.
The property has a built-up area of 2401.70 square metres and is located near the Mumbai airport terminal.
As per the media report, the Bengaluru-based Debt Recovery Tribunal sold this Kingfisher House after failing in the previous eight attempts at a fraction of the initial reserve price of Rs 135 crore.
Quoting Pankaj Kapoor, managing director of a real estate research firm Liases Foras, Hindustan Times reported that the reasons behind the reduction in the rate of the house was due to its location and market condition. “There is not much development potential in this plot due to height restrictions as it is close to the airport. In addition, market conditions are bad…," said Kapoor.
Kingfisher Airlines, which began operations in 2005, was forced to shut down in 2012 due to a mounting debt burden that made it difficult for the airline to continue operations. The airline is also under investigation for possible money laundering and financial violations.
The 65-year-old businessman remains on bail in the UK while a “confidential" legal matter, believed to be related to an asylum application, is resolved in connection with the unrelated extradition proceedings.
Mallya, who fled to the UK in March 2016, is wanted in India over a default of Rs 9,000 crore that was loaned to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) by several banks. India has been seeking his extradition from the UK. He had in the past offered to repay 100 per cent of “public money" but accused the banks and government of refusing his offer.