Kingfisher Airlines, title sponsor to the Force India team (both are owned by Vijay Mallya) has seen the value of its shares hit hit their worst-ever levels on the Bombay Stock Exchange amid reports that the airline has defaulted on payments to its creditors.
A year ago, the share price was sitting at RP90.40 per share, but the subsequent twelve months have seen the share price crash almost three-quarters, hitting a new low of RP17.55 during today’s trading.
The news is hardly surprising.
In September, Mallya was forced to close Kingfisher’s low-cost subsidiary to try and offload some debts of more than $1.5 billion – his F1 team has also had a longstanding reputation of being among the worst at paying its bills even remotely on-time.
In recent days, Kingfisher has had to cancel over 100 flights because it doesn’t have the cash to pay for airline fuel, and there are plenty of rumours that it is on borrowed time.
Having earned his fortune as a liquor baron, Mallya formed Kingfisher Airlines in 2005, partly to circumvent India’s strict bans on the advertising of alcohol.
Perhaps he should start hitting the bottle…
[Image via Sutton Images]