According to an Inside Beer report a consortium of Indian lenders, led by the State Bank of India, have initiated talks to sell the 16.15% stake in United Breweries (UBL) belonging to disgraced liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
The group are attempting to recover dues owed to them in excess of INR 6,200 crore (USD 869 million).
The brewer of Kingfisher and Heineken are expected to sell the share block to Heineken NV, who already own a major stake in the Indian brewing group.
Mallya, a businessman and former member of parliament, suffered financially from the collapse of Kingfisher Airlines in 2013 which, at the time, was heavily indebted with bank loans of approximately INR 7,200 crore (USD 1.1 bn).
Also known as ‘The King of Good Times’ for his partying lifestyle, Mallya had been forced to relinquish control of United Spirits, the world’s third-largest manufacturer of spirits, in 2012. United Spirits was sold to Diageo in a USD 2 billion deal, however the proceeds from the sale were paid into overseas bank accounts and not used to pay off any outstanding debts.
Mallya’s whereabouts are currently not known and most of his possessions in India have been confiscated and sold, including his huge Kingfisher Villa in Goa, in an attempt to cover some for his outstanding debts.