Six bidders express interest in Jet Airways

09 Apr 2019


Six bidders, including buy-out firms such as TPG Capital, KKR and Blackstone and international airlines such as Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Delta-Air France-KLM are among the entities that are believed to have shown "expression of interest" in debt-laden Jet Airways, sources said. 

The development comes as lenders of the debt-ridden airline invited EoI for stake sale in the airline to recover their dues worth Rs8,000 crore the airline owes to lenders led by the SBI.
As per the document issued by the State Bank of India (SBI), the lead lender in the consortium, it offered stake from 31.2 to 75 per cent of the company on a fully diluted basis. 
However, it was not known whether ex-chairman Naresh Goyal or major equity owner Etihad Airways would be selling their stake on a pro-rata basis. 
On 25 March, Goyal had stepped down from the board of the airline and ceded majority control to the SBI-led consortium. 
The consortium of banks then appointed SBI Caps to take out the EoI and conduct the process of their stake sale in the airline. 
"The lenders, pursuant to the guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India, are in the process of formulation of a resolution plan for resolving stress in the company, inter alia, involving change in control and management of the company," the EOI document said.
The EoI is intended to provide information about the company to enable interested parties to make assessment about the proposal prior to the submission of their bids. 
The time period for submission of EoI is till 6 pm on 10 April. 
Last week the Supreme Court annulled a 12 February 2018 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) circular on bad debts. Jet Air lenders had then said they intended to pursue a bank-led resolution plan for the airline under the present legal and regulatory framework. 
The judgement comes as a major setback for the resolution process. 
"The lenders intend to pursue the bank-led resolution plan for sale of stake in the company in a time-bound manner under the present legal and regulatory framework and intend to invite expressions of interest," the consortium stated in a rele3ase.
As per the lenders' statement, all efforts will be made for the stake sale and other options may be considered by them should these efforts not result in an acceptable outcome. 
Jet Airway's former chairman Naresh Goyal had earlier said he has cooperated fully and facilitated the bank-led resolution programme for the company. 
On 2 March, Goyal stepped down from the board of the airline and ceded majority control to the SBI-led consortium. 
Under the debt resolution plan, the lenders would inject up to Rs1,500 crore working capital into the airline and convert their debt into equity, to revive the airline and then sell their stake in it. 
The airline is hard-pressed for funds and with a major portion of its fleet out of operation, Jet has been struggling with cash flows for the past six months. 

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