Ministry okays SpiceJet revival plan; SEBI nod awaited

The civil aviation ministry has accepted the revival plan submitted by cash-strapped airline SpiceJet, which includes the infusion of fresh funds to restore the airline's operations under its changed promoters.

A ministry official said the proposal has been forwarded to the Securities & Exchange Board of India, which will take a call on whether to exempt the airline from going ahead with the transfer of ownership.

Under current SEBI regulations, any transaction involving more than 25-per cent of the stake in a listed company triggers an open offer.

The airline has asked SEBI to exempt it from the regulation so that it can go ahead with the planned transaction that is expected to restore its financial health and operations.

On 15 January, the airline said that its current promoter Kalanithi Maran will offload his stake in the company to new promoter Ajay Singh after regulatory clearances. Singh was the original promoter of the low-cost carrier.

A regulatory filing was made in this regard at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). However, the filing did not disclose any financial details.

Singh co-founded SpiceJet with Bhupendra Kansagra in 2005. However, both of them sold their stakes to buyout specialist Wilbur Ross in 2010, and the airline was acquired by the Tamil Nadu-based Sun Group's chief Kalanithi Maran (See: Kalanithi Maran takes control of SpiceJet; inducts four nominees on board).

Currently, Maran, together with his KAL Airways, holds 53.5 per cent stake in SpiceJet, while Singh has a 4.5 per cent stake. Maran acquired SpiceJet for close to Rs750 crore.