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Last Updated : Apr 03, 2013 01:31 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Bombay High Court allows SBI to sell USL shares

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected UB Holdings's plea to restrain State Bank of India (SBI) from selling shares of its group company United Spirits (USL). Those shares were pledged with the lender, which had lent around Rs 1,500 crore to Kingfisher Airlines, the aviation arm of the group.

 
 
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Moneycontrol Bureau


The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rejected UB Holdings's plea to restrain State Bank of India (SBI) from selling shares of its group company United Spirits (USL). Those shares were pledged with the lender, which had lent around Rs 1,500 crore to Kingfisher Airlines, the aviation arm of the group.


India's largest lender SBI is believed to have sold 2.13 lakh USL shares since last one week. The bank had taken them as collateral against loans given to the debt ridden Kingfisher Airline.


"We have around 26 lakh USL shares as collateral. With this Court order we will continue to sell those shares. So far, we have got no official communique from Vijay Mallya in this regard," a senior SBI official told moneycontrol.com on condition of anonymity.


Meanwhile, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers, another UB group company wherein the group promoter - Vijay Mallya holds more than 30% stake recorded a block deal on Tuesday. SBI (in the name of SBI Trustee Company) sold about one crore shares at 38.40 per unit to Zuari Fertilisers and Chemicals, which also bought additional 15,00,000 shares from the secondary market.


Block deal is a trade with a minimum quantity of 5,00,000 shares or minimum value of Rs. 5 crore, executed through a single transaction.


The UB group chairman is apprehensive that such share sales would eventually endanger his stake sale deal with British wine maker Diageo. At the time of inking the deal in November, 2012; Diageo had consented to buy a majority stake in USL wherein Mallya owns nearly 30%. The stock price that was agreed upon was at Rs 1,440 per share.


However, out of Mallya's holdings in USL most of shares are now pledged with lenders. In February, a consortium of 17 banks decided to recall their loans, a prelude before any lender goes for legal action to recover loans.


Now, SBI has just started selling shares at above Rs 1,800 per unit in the secondary market. The UB promoter fears, he would not be able to comply with Diageo deal as he is losing his own holdings.


It is learnt that other lenders too will start such share selling at any time. They include IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, United Bank of India, Central Bank of India; Corporation Bank, Axis Bank, UCO Bank, Punjab and Sindh Bank as well as some other associate SBI group banks.

saikat.das@network18online.com

First Published on Apr 2, 2013 07:51 pm
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