Saturday, 4 May 2013

Kingfisher Airlines lenders set to file Sarfaesi claim



Banks expect protracted battle if promoters attempt to block recovery, plan to move debt recovery tribunal as well
The consortium of lenders to Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) will file a claim under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (Sarfaesi) Act in a day or two. But it seems unlikely banks will be able to recover a meaningful chunk of their dues of R7,000 crore any time soon.
In February, State Bank of India (SBI) deputy MD Shyamal Acharya had said banks held collateral worth R6,500 crore against loans to KFA. This included the Kingfisher brand, limited to the airline, which, according to media reports, was valued at around R4,100 crore by audit firm Grant Thornton India at the time the loan was given.
“Now in case of airlines we have to see; we have not ascertained the value of the brand yet. Since it is not flying now, the value might be much less,” Acharya told FE on Thursday. Acharya also said that the consortium will be filing a case with the debt recovery tribunal (DRT) next week.
“We are looking to see what we can recover quickly but the promoter could adopt delaying tactics,” he said. SBI, the lead lender in the 14-bank consortium, has an exposure of R1,600 crore to the bankrupt airline.
Under Sarfaesi, lenders can take possession of the fixed and current assets of borrower after 60 days of sending notice, while through the DRT, lenders can use judicial powers against the borrowers.




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