With no viable offers in hand, Jet lenders turn to unsolicited bids

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on May 15, 2019

Jet Airways   -  REUTERS

Proposals by investors, employees, British suitors among options being considered

The scramble to save Jet Airways has led its lenders to explore unsolicited offers made by multiple entities, including UK-based entrepreneur Jason Unsworth, Mumbai-based Darwin Platform Group, London-based AdiGro Aviation and Russian aviation professional Oleg Evdokimov.

It is also considering a takeover proposal from a group of minority shareholders and Jet employees. Under the plan,called the Revival of Jet Airways (ROJA), the grouping has engaged with over 2,300 Jet Airways employees. A survey conducted among 1,354 employees revealed that 70 per cent were willing to take loans equal to 6-18 months’ salary to save Jet Airways. Many even offered to write off their salary dues. In return, they wanted a 51 per cent stake in the airline. 

The other proposal is from Darwin Platform Group, which claims to have investments in 18 companies in several sectors, including aviation, real estate, logistics, mass media power and shipping. According to its CEO Rahul Ganpule, the company’s net worth is around ₹24,000 crore. Speaking to BusinessLine, Ganphule said a preliminary  meeting with SBI Caps was held on Wednesday. “We have proposed (an offer of) ₹14,000 crore. The entire fund will be provided by Darwin Group itself. SBI assured us that it will consult the other lenders,” he said.

Read more: Etihad places bid for a minority stake in Jet

According to sources, London-based AdiGro Group has proposed to infuse approximately ₹2,500 crore in Jet.

UK entrepreneur Unsworth has made an ₹8,000-crore bid. “I, along with Future Trends, Redcliffe Capital and My World Ventures (a start-up airline in Africa), are willing to infuse up to ₹8,000 crore in the company,” he said.

Etihad Airways, which currently holds a 24 per cent stake in Jet, was the only solicited bidder for the airline. But the Abu Dhabi-based carrier has maintained that it wants to remain a minority shareholder. The airline has approached the Hinduja Group to infuse additional funding.

‘Expert’ offers help 

According to the plan submitted by Russia’s Evdokimov, the main objective is the resumption of the company’s activities in the domestic market while maintaining a share of 10-15 per cent on the most popular routes. But he has made no equity offer for the company. 

Speaking to BusinessLine, Evdokimov said: “The airline will have to start afresh in my view, as it cannot reach the current fleet strength immediately. Hence it can run on an optimised fleet of over 20 aircraft. I will approach SBI Caps with my expertise

Published on May 15, 2019

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