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Kingfisher Airlines' lenders to continue sale of USL shares: SBI

By Religare
Kingfisher Airlines' lenders to continue sale of USL shares
Soon after the court turned down the appeal of liquor baron Vijay Mallya to cease Kingfisher lenders from releasing pledged shares of United Spirits Ltd (USL) in the open market to recover their dues, the country's largest state-run bank has said that consortium of lenders will continue the sale of shares.

"There's no stay (from the court), so there's no reason we will not do that (continue to sell the shares)," Shyamal Acharya, deputy managing director in-charge of mid-corporates at State Bank of India, the lead-lender among a group of 17 banks.

Acharya said lenders have already sold around 0.73 million of the 2.6 million shares of USL pledged with them, in tranches at "good prices". Mallya and his group companies have pledged 97 per cent of the shares of USL with lenders and are valued at around Rs 6,500 crore at current market value.

SBI official also said lenders have fixed a floor price to be protected in the share sale, but didn't disclose that. The move comes as a big blow to Mallya who plans to revive the airline by selling stake in USL to Diageo for around Rs 11,000 crore.

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