Holy mackerel! Kingfisher Airlines is caught up in a fraud investigation, and the valuation of its trademarks is part of the probe. India’s Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is looking into whether the brand valuation was fraudulently inflated to get more bank financing. Grant Thornton, the firm that did the valuation, is one of the targets of the investigation.
Questionable work: A new white paper from Markables examines the brand valuation of Kingfisher Airlines and finds that, based on comparable data, there is “evidence that the brand valuation was abnormally high, by a factor of at least 10x.” However, without access to the actual internal data, it’s not possible to do an appropriate estimation of value, the paper notes. The paper also offers some lessons learned from the case.
In a statement, Grant Thornton LLP India says it stands by the valuation and will provide all required information to back it up. The firm also states that the valuation was appropriate in the context of when it was done and the purpose for which it was done. The valuation was done when the airline was at its peak of operations. Since then, the airline was grounded (in 2012).
An auction of the airline’s trademarks is now going on, with final bids due by April 28.
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