Naresh Goyal offers to sell controlling stake in Jet Airways: report
28 November 2018
Jet Airways promoter Naresh Goyal is reported to have agreed to sell his controlling stake in Jet Airways, but on condition that he retains a minor stake and a seat on the airline’s board.
Goyal, who owns 51 per cent stake in Jet Airways, has communicated his intent to sell his controlling stake and giving up operational control to the investment bankers and to the strategic investors, CNBC-TV18 reports.
The founder-chairman has, however, sought to retain a minority stake of below 5 per cent and a board seat on the Jet Airways.
This is because Goyal is now convinced that not just Tata Group, no investor would want to invest in Jet if Goyal retains his control over the company - operationally and in equity ownership, the report quoted sources familiar with the development as saying.
Goyal is reported to have communicated his intention to sell controlling stake in the company to three prospective strategic investors, including Tata Group, Etihad and a consortium of Air France, KLM & Delta.
Goyal, the airline's founder, is badly in need of cash, but does not want to let go the airline off his hands and intends to retain a minority stake of below 5 per cent and a board seat.
Jet Airways, which is partially owned by Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi, has about $1.1 billion in debt and needs $300 million of immediate cash infusion.
The Jet Airways promoter had initially sought investment from investor firms to recapitalise the struggling carrier, but the plan flopped as no investor was willing to buy into a losing carrier.
Most of the private equity players were interested in Jet Privilege Pvt Ltd, its frequent flyer programme, and not in the airline.
And with the debt burden increasing and the cash crunch becoming severe, Goyal thought of an investor who would stand with him.
Earlier this month, Indian conglomerate Tata Sons Ltd said it was in preliminary talks with debt-laden Jet, but has not made a proposal to acquire a stake.