Jet Airways, SpieceJet in talks for minority stake sale: Reports

The Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways and media-baron Kalanithi Maran-backed SpiceJet are in discussion with Etihad Airways and AirAsia for sale of minority stakes, government officials confirmed yesterday.

While SpiceJet is reportedly in initial stages of talks, the deal between Jet and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways could see conclusion first. The Financial Express newspaper quoted a government source as saying that talks were on and it was more or less final and likely to happen in around a month and half.

Shares of both airlines rose yesterday following reports of stake sale talks. Jet Airways' shares rose 10.81 per cent on the BSE at Rs560.40 while SpiceJet's shares closed the day 12.98 per cent higher at Rs44.40 after touching a 52-week peak of Rs46.85 during intra-day trade.

''We are aware that recently there has been much speculation in the press,'' said Jet Airways in a statement to the BSE. ''The company cannot comment on such speculative reports.''

Quoting an investment-focused website, the financial daily reported Jet Airways had finalised a deal to sell 25 per cent stake to Etihad for $400 million which would value the airline at $1.2 billion.

If the Etihad deal is clinched, Jet Airways would become the first Indian carrier to benefit from the government's recent FDI policy change, allowing foreign carriers to invest in domestic airlines.