RCB, Kingfisher Airlines sold — Sir Richard Branson buys out Dr Vijay Mallya’s twin business interests

A crestfallen Vijay Mallya (left) and his son Siddharth after inking the deal with Sir Richard Branson © Getty Images

Mumbai: Apr 1, 2013

Sir Richard Branson, the British billionaire and founder cum chairman of Virgin Group of more than 400 companies, is all set buy some of the properties of cash-strapped Vijay Mallya business interests. As per news available, Sir Branson will buy the Kingfisher Airlines, which has now the lowest market share in the last one year after enjoying the second largest domestic air travel share not long ago.A Virgin Group spokesman said that taking over the airline business of Dr Mallya made perfect business sense it expansion plans for India.

As a Britisher, Sir Branson has always had a deep interest in cricket and insisted that he would buy the Kingfisher Airlines only if Dr Mallya agreed to see the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as well. The RCB is close to both Dr Mallya and his son Siddharth’s heart and it took the longest time before Dr Mallya reluctantly conceded to let go off RCB’s control.

Unconfirmed reports say that the RCB part of the deal was worth US $70 million. It’s a huge loss because Dr Mallya paid US$111.6 million for RCB.

The effect of the buyout among the fans and the RCB followers is not yet known, but it will definitely hurt both. Mallya may not be very popular with the Kingfisher employees, but he has been very generous with the cricketers in lavishing them with the kind of luxuries that is the envy of other teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

While Sir Branson and Dr Mallya have inked the deal, the transfer of the RCB to the British billionaire will take effect only after the conclusion of IPL 2013.

For those who are still wondering if this is a nightmare, relax: The above story is pure fiction! All of Dr Mallya’s business interests are still very much with him and the ‘King of Good Times” will continue to be in total control of RCB. So have a Kingfisher beer and take the April 1 prank in the right spirit — and with the right spirit!