Logistics

Etihad places bid for a minority stake in Jet

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on May 10, 2019 Published on May 10, 2019

Gulf carrier says more investors needed to re-cap troubled airline

A glimmer of hope emerged for Jet Airways on Friday as Etihad placed a financial bid for acquiring a stake in the troubled airline, the only one to do so. But the gesture may not be enough to save the airline as the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, which owns 24 per cent stake in the Indian airline, said that it will continue to remain a minority investor.

In a statement, Etihad said that it cannot be expected to be the sole investor, and that, amongst other requirements, additional investors would need to bring in the bulk of the money required to recapitalise Jet.

Tough time ahead

This means that the troubles for Jet are far from over as the lenders will have to find other investors to acquire the balance stake in the company. According to a top source close to the development, the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund is likely to pick up some part of the equity.

For now, the lenders will have to examine if the bid placed by Etihad is acceptable. “It’s not all well yet. The bid has been placed but not opened yet. We will have to see what is the haircut that is expected from banks and what is the value they are proposing for the airline,” said a second source from the banking sector.

SBI Caps had shortlisted four expressions of interest from Etihad Airways, TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and NIIF. There are a couple of unsolicited bids that have been placed which the lenders may now examine. In addition to the proposal by the employees of Jet, a UK-based entrepreneur has also offered to acquire the airline.

Jet Airways owes ₹11,261 crore to Indian and international lenders. Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India, said the bank has spent a lot of time trying o revive the airline.

On approaching the NCLT to start insolvency proceedings, Kumar said: “In the service industry, the chances of recovery are virtually nil because there are no assets. So what can you sell?”

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Published on May 10, 2019
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