Vijay Mallya fails to pay back £114m Diageo loan
The fugitive former head of United Spirits, Vijay Mallya, has failed to obey a court order to pay back a loan of £114 million to Diageo, according to documents filed in the latter’s accounts.
The charge sheet against Vijay Mallya and his associates grows ever longer.
He has now failed to meet a court order to pay Diageo $146m (£114m) resulting from his failure to repay a loan guaranteed by United Spirits and inherited by Diageo when it took control of the Indian spirits giant in 2014.
Diageo duly met the guaranteed to Standard Chartered Bank when Mallya defaulted.
Today it is revealed in Diageo’s annual report and accounts that Mallya and Watson, a company involved with his former Grand Prix racing interests, plus Continental Administration Services Limited (a company which holds assets on trust for and is affiliated with Mallya) failed to make the payment by June 21, the date ordered by the High Court in a ruling on May 23.
Diageo says it is “considering further enforcement steps against those companies, both in the United Kingdom and in other jurisdictions where they are present or hold assets.”
Separately on Monday the consortium of Indian banks pursuing Mallya for £1.15 billion in the wake of his Kingfisher Airlines collapse in 2012, won a High Court order in London forcing him to disclose full details of his assets to establish their true ownership.
Central to this is documentation that would establish the true ownership structure of the VMDS Trust, named after Mallya’s father Vittal, in which the fugitive former head of United Spirits claims he has no “beneficial interest”.
“We, that is the courts in India and here [UK], are not being told the full story,” Nigel Tozzi QC told Mr Justice Robin Knowles on behalf of the Indian banks.
“I do take the view that without this disclosure the consequences are highly unsatisfactory for a judgment creditor [the Indian banks] and from the vantage point of progressing towards a fair conclusion of the matter and a conclusion that is cost-effective,” the judge said in his ruling.
“Frankly, the answer needs to be known as to which assets are that of Dr Mallya, both for the purpose of the worldwide freezing order and enforcement of the judgment”
Two superyachts, a game reserve in South Africa, numerous undeclared high-value vintage cars, works of art and a piano previously owned by Sir Elton John are among the assets in contention.
Mallya is on bail in the UK awaiting the hearing of his appeal against extradition to India where he is charged with fraud and money laundering, which he denies. That hearing is scheduled to begin on February 11, almost four years after Mallya fled to the UK.