Kingfisher in talks to rescue carrier – Mallya

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 01:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Kingfisher Airlines (KING.NS) is talking with two foreign carriers about a potential rescue package that could be announced within days, Kingfisher’s Chairman Vijay Mallya, said in an interview with the Times newspaper on Monday.

Mallya, the billionaire who controls 58 percent of Kingfisher, said that he had secured provisional approval from the government for a change in the law that would ease restrictions on foreign ownership of Indian airlines.

He said the foreign airlines, which he did not name, were ready to invest in Kingfisher as soon as a change in the law was announced. The change would allow overseas airlines to own up to 49 per cent of an Indian carrier for the first time.

One of the airlines involved in the talks is International Airlines Group, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, according to an unnamed financial source cited by the Times.

Abu Dhabi’s flagship carrier, Etihad Airways, has discussed the possibility of a tie-up, which would involve the foreign groups providing equity in exchange for a minority stake, according to the Times.

The parties involved could not be reached for immediate comment.