(Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on Telegram for all the news and analysis you need.
Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya’s palatial island home boasts 17 bedrooms, a cinema, private helipad and even its own nightclub. But one of the banks suing him for unpaid debts allege the former billionaire has let it fall into disrepair.
Mallya bought ‘Le Grand Jardin’ through his company Gizmo Invest SA in 2008 using a 27-million euro ($30 million) loan facility from Ansbacher & Co., a unit of Qatar National Bank SAQ. Gizmo has since defaulted on the loan, the bank told a London high court Wednesday.
It’s seeking a court order to force Mallya to sell his 50-meter (164-foot) superyacht currently impounded in southern England because a 5-million euro mortgage on the yacht serves as security for the loan, it said.
By September 2015, when the loan was due and Mallya was facing a $100 million lawsuit from Diageo Plc and $1.2 billion lawsuit from a consortium of Indian banks, the 1.3 hectare property on the French island Ile Sainte Marguerite “had fallen into disrepair,” the bank’s lawyer Gideon Shirazi said in court documents.
Unsuitable interior designers and builders engaged to carry out repairs at the property left it in a worse state, he said. On Mallya’s request to extend the loan, the bank instructed Knight Frank to inspect the property, and the real estate agents found that the value had fallen by 10 millions euros to 30 million euros. By January 2018, the work on the property was still incomplete, according to the bank.
Mallya and Qatar National Bank didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Mallya wasn’t represented in court.
It comes as Mallya, who founded the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., faces extradition to India on fraud charges. He was granted permission to appeal, which will be heard in February.
Mallya, who was known as the “King of Good Times” in India, was arrested in London in April 2017 after 17 banks accused him of willfully defaulting on the debt accumulated by the airline, which shut in 2012. A willful defaulter is someone who refuses to repay loans despite having the means to do so.
The yacht was arrested by marine insurer Skuld in January 2018 for non-payment of the crew’s wages. The island home is now listed for sale.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Milligan in London at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com, Christopher Elser
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.