The Diageo-owned United Spirits has accused Vijay Mallya of diverting funds to Kingfisher and other United Breweries group entities. They have also asked its former promoter and current chairman to step down as a board member.
The liquor baron, though, has refuted all charges and said he will not quit. He was asked to step down by the United Spirits Limited after various improprieties and legal violations were found in a probe into loans worth Rs 1,337 crore given by USL to UB Group firms.
It was revealed that between 2010 and 2013, funds involved in many transactions were diverted from the company and/or its subsidiaries to certain UB Group companies, including Kingfisher Airlines Ltd in particular. The company further added that “in the event Mallya declines to step down, the Board also resolved that it would recommend to the shareholders of the company, the removal of Mallya as a director and as the Chairman of the Board”.
Mr Mallya has been in the dock ever since his ambitious airline venture Kingfisher landed in financial troubles and eventually got grounded in October 2012.Thereafter, Mr Mallya had to sell some of his assets, including the controlling stake in USL to Diageo. Vijay Mallya, who is already battling a number of cases against banks over a ‘willful defaulter’ tag related to loan defaults by Kingfisher, refused to resign and said the inferences and allegations are unjustified and false. He said he did not intend to resign as a USL director and would pursue the contractual obligations with Diageo.
Vijay Mallya has an estimated net worth $1.2 billion. He is known for his flamboyant attitude, womanizing and everything thing fast and furious. Vijay Mallya took charge of his father’s business at the age of 28 and transformed the company into a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. His personal fortune and assets rose, and so did his appetite for leading a lavish life. . His exclusive VIP parties on his private mega yacht and his quest for the perfect residence has led him to buy over 25 properties all across the globe, some as exclusive as the one at Island of Sainte-Marguerite!
Mallya’s insatiable greed has pushed him to different other frontiers. He owns ‘Royal Challengers Bangalore’ and has stake in ‘Force India’. While amassing wealth, Vijay Mallya was indifferent to a whole lot of significant aspects. He became less involved with the human angle in his business empire. A Kingfisher technician’s wife had committed suicide and Mallya had no time to pay his tributes. He was reminded time and again to do the right thing but he took his own sweet time in doing what is naturally expected of a guardian!
Vijay Mallya has been such a prisoner of his own machismo, so charmed by the idea of going down in a blaze of glory that he was unwilling to even acknowledge the pain of employees who haven’t been paid their salaries in seven months. Mallya remained a silent spectator while his employees were being kicked out because they couldn’t pay the rent. He has declared his companies to be loss-making enterprises but he has all the money to enjoy the luxuries of life.
Both Vijay Mallya and his son, Siddharth Mallya, have been given the title of ‘Playboy’ by the media, owing to their tweets which have pictures of Siddharth with many girls in bikinis in a golf course, while their employees continued to suffer. With a string of high profile celebrities lining at his side, Vijay has been in the spotlight since ever. With a vintage car collection numbering 250 and heavy investments in sports worth 88 million Euros, Mallya has made many fans. But, it is perhaps this very flamboyance that led to his downfall.
Banks are to be blamed too for providing him with regular loans to keep him afloat. There not one bigger defaulter than him, yet he continues to be in the banks’ good books. Mallya has put up a façade of ‘all’s well’ but everyone has started looking through to the reality. He has become a subject of mockery and caricatures.