Martes, 25 Julio, 2017

Vijay Mallya in trouble as Diageo to hold back $35 million payment

Galena Nuncio | 17 Julio, 2017, 17:15

In yet another blow for former liquor baron Vijay Mallya, Diageo has made a decision to hold back Dollars 35-million settlement out of the total USD 75 million that the company had agreed to pay him, reports The Economic Times.

According to a report in Economic Times, Diageo had given $135 million to the Standard Chartered Bank as a conditional guarantee for the liabilities of Watson Ltd, a company affiliated to Mallya, which they now try to recover. Diageo would also claim Mallya's stake in the Force India Formula One team, which was pledged as security for Watson.

Sources quoted in the Economic Times report, said that the remaining Dollars 35 million will not be paid as the British company found various financial misappropriations and fund diversion by Mallya.

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The former liquor baron is now out on bail.

Reasons cited by Diageo for withholding payment of $35 million include the charges against Mallya for financial misappropriation from his United Spirits Limited (USL) and fund diversions. The rest of the money was to be paid in two equal instalments over the next few years, the ET report said.

The report further said that $40 million was paid by Diageo, the maker of Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker scotch, as part of $75 million settlement a year ago in March.

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Several complaints have been filed by the Indian unit of Diageo against the businessman after inquiries uncovered "improper transactions" worth Rs 1,225.30 crore. USL said Mallya had diverted the funds to almost half-a-dozen companies in which he had a direct or indirect interest, mostly located in tax havens. Diageo has been criticised for giving Mallya a sweet deal despite the USL board's complaints over initial findings that he had violated several laws.

London-based Diageo cut ties with Mallya previous year, and he left India amid criminal investigations of unpaid debts and possible money laundering and tax evasion.

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