UB in talks with Kingfisher lenders to cut debt

NEW DELHI Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:49pm IST

Customers stand at a Kingfisher Airlines reservation office at the domestic airport in Mumbai March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash/Files

Customers stand at a Kingfisher Airlines reservation office at the domestic airport in Mumbai March 20, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - UB Group, the parent of debt-laden Kingfisher Airlines(KING.NS), said it was in talks with lenders to the carrier to cut their exposure by using proceeds from a stake sale in a group company to Diageo Plc (DGE.L).

The statement comes days after lenders to Kingfisher said they would move ahead towards recovering $1.4 billion of loans in default after the company failed to come up with a viable funding plan.

UK drinks group Diageo agreed last November to buy a 53.4 percent stake in UB Group-controlled United Spirits Ltd for $2.1 billion under a two-stage process.

Kingfisher, which has been stripped of its flying licence and has not flown since October, owes an estimated $2.5 billion to banks, staff, airports and oil companies.

(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky)

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