Hindujas may invest ₹1,500 cr in Jet

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on May 23, 2019

Meeting in Abu Dhabi with Etihad, SBI and AdiGro ends on a positive note

The Hinduja Group may invest ₹1,000-1,500 crore in Jet Airways as part of a plan to revive the airline, along with Etihad Airways, State Bank of India and London-based AdiGro. At a meeting attended by representatives from the four companies, it was agreed to explore the creation of a consortium to own Jet Airways.

Under the plan being discussed, Etihad will retain its 24 per cent stake in the company, while SBI may take 20 per cent stake. The Hinduja Group could acquire 20-25 per cent. Adigro has already expressed willingness to bring in ₹2,500 crore worth of equity.

There was also a discussion on the possibility of the SBI giving ₹350-700 crore after an agreement is signed by all parties. The meeting was held at the Abu Dhabi-based headquarters of Etihad, on Thursday, said a person in the know, adding that the main agenda of the meeting was to bring alignment between all three groups.

The person cited above said: “It was understood during the meeting that the Hinduja Group could bring in equity anywhere between ₹1,000-1,500 crore and have a minority stake at around 25 per cent. There could also be a possibility of NIIF and Hindujas bringing in equity together.”

Along with this, “the banks would put in equity worth 20 per cent and also take a haircut, which could be as high as 75 per cent. The bank said that it could put in equity worth ₹300 to ₹750 crore once the agreement was signed”.

No easy road

However, the source pointed out that it wasn’t an easy road as it looked because both AdiGro and Hinduja wanted to carry out due diligence of the company’s books. “The banks will have to give details on Jet airways’ assets and liabilities for them to take into account the depth of issues in the company,” said a source.

The parties made it clear that there was discomfort with Naresh Goyal being on the board.

Earlier, Etihad, too, was firm on not having Goyal in the fray. Goyal held 51 per cent stake in the airline.

While it wasn’t clear if Hindujas would finally invest or not, the source said that the meeting ended on a positive note.

“They were supportive of the fact that they wanted to resurrect the airline and were willing to evaluate the possibilities. They were also positive of both Etihad and AdiGro being on board. However, they made it clear that unless they saw economical benefit in the company, they would not invest in it, and that they would like to be a low-key minority stakeholder,” said another source.

Published on May 23, 2019

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