Mallya Ready To Return To India If Freedom Assured


Mumbai: Vijay Mallya , under pressure from banks to repay loans, said he has every intention of honouring commitments, that he has made a new settlement offer to main lender State Bank of India and is hopeful of making quick progress on the matter, according to directors who attended a United Breweries Ltd (UBL) board meeting that he chaired by video-conference.

Even as the Enforcement Directorate is seeking to extradite him from the UK , where he’s been for the past two months or so, the chairman of UBL has the support of the board and strategic partner Heineken, said directors that ET spoke to.

The board meeting was held in Mumbai on Friday, with Mallya logging on remotely from London. “We expressed concerns over the various issues and Mallya has assured us that he is in serious negotiations with the banks to repay the loans as soon as possible.

He has said he is willing to return to India to answer all questions but he has to be assured of his safety and freedom,” said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw , independent board member.

“Performance of the company has been extremely good and there is no corporate governance issue that has impacted it owing to Mallya.” Mallya was unavailable for comment. Executives aware of the matter said Heineken has chosen to stand by Mallya and not go by unsubstantiated accusations.

Mallya has said he’s been constantly engaged in trying to settle dues and that he’s not guilty of any wrongdoing. Banks are seeking more than Rs 9,000 crore as dues on loans to Mallya-founded Kingfisher Airlines , which has been grounded since 2012. ED wants to question him over money laundering accusations.