The shares of Jet Airways and SpiceJet hit a 52-week high on the exchanges on Monday, with the market abuzz that the airlines are in talks with foreign airlines for a stake sale.Market reports said Jet was in talks with Etihad Airways and SpiceJet with Qatar Airways for a stake sale.
Market sources, meanwhile, say Jet Airways could raise up to $400 million if it sells a 25 per cent stake to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, as is being speculated.
“At the current market price, Jet Airways is valued at $1.7 billion. The airline company is most likely to sell 20-25 per cent stake,” said Sharan Lillaney, an aviation analyst, Angel Broking.
Jet Airways and Etihad have a code-sharing agreement. “This deal will be profitable to both. Jet can gain larger market share while Etihad will get a major exposure in India and also strengthen its position in West Asia. Right now, Emirates and Qatar Airways take a major chunk of passengers from India to West Asia,” Lillaney said.
A Jet Airways spokesperson said, “we do not have adequate information at the moment to be able to comment on this matter.”
The Jet Airways scrip touched a 52-week high of Rs 598.80 and closed at Rs 560.40, up nearly 11 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
The SpiceJet stock also touched a 52-week-high of Rs 46.85. It closed at Rs 44.40, up 13 per cent from its previous close on the BSE.
In a communication to the exchanges, SpiceJet said though a few investors had evinced interest in the company after the Government allowed FDI in civil aviation, it would be premature to comment on the possibilities of any fresh equity issuance to such interested parties or confirm/deny names of any specific entity.
Our Delhi bureau adds:
Official sources said that while there has been no communication from Jet Airways on a foreign airline acquiring a stake in it, there is a possibility that the airline could issue fresh equity to an international airline soon.
On the stake sale in SpiceJet, sources claim that the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Neil Mills had, in recent meetings with senior Government officials, indicated that the airline was in talks with a number of international airlines.