No flying good times: Banks find no bidders for Kingfisher’s trademarks at auction
Mumbai: There were no takers for the brands and trademarks of Kingfisher Airlines in an auction held by banks.
Lenders failed to attract a single bidder for sale of these pledged assets at a reserve price of Rs 366.70 crores, in their efforts to recover unpaid loans from Vijay Mallya.
This is the second failed attempt by the 17 banks consortium who are seeking money owed to them by beleaguered liquor baron Mallya.
Last month, the banks failed selling the long-defunct airline’s erstwhile headquarters, with no bidder coming forward.
The items on sale during today’s e—auction included the the Kingfisher logo with once-famous tagline ‘Fly the Good Times’. The other trademarks on sale included Flying Models, Funliner, Fly Kingfisher and Flying Bird Device.
The reserve price for the trademarks was kept at Rs 366.70 crore, which is not even one—tenth of the price pledged as a collateral for the loan. Sources, however, said the reserve price was “too high” for any bidder to come in.
“There were no bids, possibly because the reserve price was considered very high. Though the reserve price was set much lower than its original valuation at the time of taking the brand as collateral, people still found it to be high,” a banking source said.
The online auction began at 11:30 am and lasted for an hour without any success. It was conducted by SBICAP Trustee Company on behalf of lenders under the Sarfaesi Act.
The Kingfisher brand itself was valued at over Rs 4,000 crore by Grant Thornton when the airline was at its peak.
In its annual report for 2012—13, KFA said that at its peak, it was the largest airline in India, with a five—star rating from Skytrax. The airline’s brand had been registered separately from the Kingfisher beer trademarks.
A senior banker said, “The interest for this auction could have been from existing airline operators, but no one will come. It is better to start a new airline company than to buy this brand and revive it.”
In a previous attempt at recovery of dues, which have ballooned to over Rs 9,000 crore after taking into account the interest component, the banks had conducted an auction of Kingfisher House last month, but did not find any takers at a reserve price of Rs 150 crore.
Sources said the lenders might now try to lower the reserve price in both the cases in their future efforts to sell these pledged assets.
The Kingfisher House property has a built—up area of over 17,000 square feet in posh Vile Parle near domestic airport here.
Mr. Mallya, who left India on March 2 and is currently in London, has a non—bailable warrant against him in a money—laundering investigation. His passport has also been revoked.
(With inputs from PTI)