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Kingfisher sells Mumbai corporate office to raise funds

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BANGALORE/MUMBAI, India – Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines is selling its corporate office building in Mumbai.

BANGALORE/MUMBAI, India – Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines is selling its corporate office building in Mumbai.

Bankers belonging to the lending consortium told Business Line that the airline has approached the bank to give a go-ahead for the sale of Kingfisher House, located on the Western Express Highway. “The file is with the heads of banks now, and any decision on the approval is yet to be conveyed to the company,” said a bank official.

“However, there is no specific reason for the delay, and it is just taking the procedural time,” he clarified. The company has mortgaged the building to some of the banks of the lending consortium.

Kingfisher House in Mumbai was the airline’s corporate headquarters till the company decided to put the building on the block for raising funds. In late-September last year, Mr Vijay Mallya, Chairman of UB Group, said that the company had moved into a new building in Mumbai and that Kingfisher House was redundant to its needs. “So, we will obviously look to sell it. Any initiative that we can take to reduce our debt is going to be pursued,” he had said then.

When contacted, the UB spokesperson denied some media reports saying that the UB Tower in Bangalore was not for sale. He, however, did not respond to the query on the sale of the Kingfisher House in Mumbai.

In another development, KFA’s accounts were frozen by the IT department again. The company, which had outstanding TDS claims of Rs 342 crore resulting in its accounts getting frozen, had assured the I-T department that it would pay Rs 9 crore every week. In early-May this year, Kingfisher Airlines made an initial payment of Rs 44 crore, after which the accounts were de-frozen.

However, it appears that the company had not made the payments for the past couple of weeks, which resulted in its accounts getting frozen again. In a statement, KFA spokesperson said, “The IT department attached two of our bank accounts on May 24 which was not in accordance with the speaking order of the Hon’ble IT Appellate Tribunal during the hearing. Subsequently, in a written order of May 25, the tribunal set aside the entire demand made by the IT assessing officer. As such there are no tax dues to be currently paid and the attachment orders on two bank accounts have to be lifted.”