Mumbai: Seeking to recover their dues from beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya, lenders on Saturday initiated an auction of various brands and trademarks of his long-grounded Kingfisher Airlines, including its once-famous tagline ‘Fly The Good Times’, but bidders were hard to come by.
The auction began at 11:30 a.m. to continue for the next one hour. The reserve price for the trademark was kept at Rs 366.70 crore, not even one-tenth of the price at which it was pledged with as a collateral for the loan.
Besides the logo, the 17 lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI) have put on sale other trademarks of the now-defunct airline such as the once-famous ‘Fly the Good Times’ tagline, Flying Models, Funliner, Fly Kingfisher and Flying Bird Device.
The brand Kingfisher was collateralized to banks for a whopping Rs 4,000 crore (by Grant Thornton) in 2010, now down to a trickle.
The online auction of brand Kingfisher is being conducted by SBI Cap Trustee Company on behalf of lenders under the SARFAESI Act.
Mr Mallya had pledged the trademarks as collateral with banks at the time of taking loans from them.
At its peak, Kingfisher Airlines was the largest airline in the country, with a five-star rating from Skytrax, according to the airline’s annual report for 2012-13.
Last month, the consortium of banks had failed in its attempt to sell the airline’s erstwhile headquarters Kingfisher House here. The auction failed as none of the bidders came forward due to the high reserve price of Rs 150 crore. The property has a built-up area of over 17,000 square feet in Vile Parle near the domestic airport.
Mr Mallya left the country on March 2 for London. Earlier this week, the government had asked Britain to deport Mr Mallya, citing the revocation of his passport and a non-bailable warrant against him.