Kochi: Owners of the Gulf-based Atlas Jewellery group are trying to settle its Dh 550 million (approximately Rs 1,000 crore) dues by offloading its inventory, according to sources close to the group.
The move comes amid reports that officials of 15 banks operating in the Middle East have approached the Dubai police complaining that the group with operations in several Gulf countries and in India has defaulted on its payments.
"We understand the owners are trying to pay off the dues and save the reputation which was built over the last three decades," the sources said.
There were reports that the showrooms of the company had been withdrawing the stocks for the last one month on the plea that they were being set for hallmarking.
A top official of a broking firm with operations in Dubai also confirmed the company has been in dire financial straits. "Yes, we have confirmed that the banks have approached the police this week," he said, refusing to elaborate.
Some Indian banks are also reported to have an exposure to the group. The Gulf media has been agog with rumours about the jewellery group landing in financial troubles for quite some time.
Gulf News reported on Thursday that the bankers had met on Wednesday to discuss the default by the group which operates over 50 showrooms in the Middle East nations.
The group, which has of late diversified into healthcare and realty sectors, has also opened jewellery showrooms in India. Reports also said Mr M M Ramachandran who founded the group has been incommunicado for the last one week.