Maran's Sun rises over SpiceJet

Media baron and Sun TV promoter Kalanithi Maran is set to buy a 38 per cent stake in India's second-largest low-fare carrier, SpiceJet, from Bhupendra Kansagra and distressed asset specialist W L Ross.

The deal is reported to be at Rs45-48 per share, after a discount to SpiceJet's current market price at Rs56.05 a share, and will close over the weekend.

The move will also trigger the open offer code for an additional acquisition of 20 per cent of SpiceJet, after which Maran will firmly be on the driver's seat of the airline.

On Friday, SpiceJet's existing financial investors, W L Ross and Istithmar Capital, converted a substantial chunk of the bonds they held in the airline. Ross had bought the convertible bonds of SpiceJet in July 2008.

Ross has converted foreign currency bonds equivalent to nearly 14 per cent stake in SpiceJet, while Dubai-based Ishtitmar received a 7 per cent stake on conversion. Both conversions took place at Rs25 apiece.