Vijay Mallya, Chairman of Kingfisher Airlines
Mallya to consider employee dues, chart a new debt repayment offer. Picture [Representational Image] Vijay Mallya, Chairman of Kingfisher AirlinesReuters

After his debt repayment offer was rejected by banks as tantamount to writing off his liabilities, Vijay Mallya and his team of advisors are at it again, trying to make it more tenable, reported Economic Times citing sources connected to the developments.

In a similar vein, he is trying to stand up to his business leader credential and looking to pay up the dues he owes to his employees, added the sources.

"His earlier settlement offer was almost like a write-off, we are not very hopeful. We are expecting a renewal of his last offer; let's see what he brings to the table," one person was quoted as saying by ET.

Mallya on his part has conducted reviews of his assets with legal-financial firms and intends a piecemeal or lump sum payment, the source added. An adjunct to it is the liquor baron's attempt to redeem the taint currently attached to his name of a swindler who partied and bought stakes in cricket and F1 franchises, while his airline employees were unpaid for years, the source said.

"He has hated the term absconder and wants to show that he would have sat down with the banks so that he can revisit the country whenever he wishes peacefully rather than be compared to swindlers," a person close to him told ET.

In a statement earlier this month, Mallya had said banks had recovered Rs 1,244 crore from the sale of pledged shares after the closure of the airline, and also Rs 600 crore was deposited in Karnataka High Court. He had claimed a total of Rs 2,494 crore had been recovered.

ET quoted its source as saying: "We are ready for the negotiation if he is willing to pay the entire principal amount that he owes banks."

But with regard to the interest payment, which now stands more than Rs 3,000 crore, he should come up with a number without an excuse to waive it, said the source, adding: "His settlement offer should include a significant portion of the interest component too." 

Another banker privy to the debt case told ET bankers aren't too enthused with the airline's debt repayment case. "If he was willing to pay us back we wouldn't be fighting this matter in court," he said.

Referring to the issue at the debt recovery tribunal, the banker said it was as much about him giving his assets under the oath as pledging the shares and giving his personal guarantee. Giving oath on his assets is something Mallya has been unwilling to do for a long time.