Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Brand Update : Kingfisher Airlines brand for sale. But who will buy ?

According to reports, the creditors of the defunct Kingfisher Airlines has decided to sell the brands - Kingfisher Airlines and other related trademarks. It is said that KFA owes Rs 7000 crores to the creditors.Naturally the news was carried with lot of importance by the media. 
My first reaction was who wouldn't want to get such a great brand ! I had the impression that Kingfisher brand was up for sale.
When we look at the fine print, things are not that attractive. According to media, the creditors have control over " Kingfisher Airlines " and not the Kingfisher beer brand. And reports also suggest that five years ago, Kingfisher Airlines brand was valued at Rs 3000 crore.

Now the question is who would be interested in Kingfisher Airlines brand ?
My guess would be that none would be interested in that because KFA as an airlines brand has lost the source of value. The value was lost in two aspects -
a) The airlines is defunct so there is no functional value for the brand.
b) The major source of equity for Kingfisher Airlines' brand was from the Kingfisher beer brand which remains with the UB group. 

I think the creditors had made a huge mistake in taking Kingfisher brand , which is an intangible asset, as a collateral without understanding how that brand derived its value. Kingfisher Airlines as a standalone brand does not have much value if de-linked with the beer brand and the brand owner with whom the brand had lot of linkage. Who ever that made the pitch to the creditors was a great salesman !
Now for a suitor, buying Kingfisher Airlines brand at a high cost doesn't make sense since this brand now has the liability of a  "failed brand "  image. One can buy this brand to prevent that brand from flying again for ever but its not worth it !

So who would be interested in buying  a dead brand ?