Two new entities show interest in bidding for Jet Airways

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on December 18, 2019 Published on December 18, 2019

Jet was admitted under the insolvency process in June after bankers failed to find any takers despite months of negotiations

CoC agrees in-principle to invite fresh EoI


The Committee of Creditors (CoC) of the defunct Jet Airways has agreed ‘in-principle’ to invite fresh Expression of Interest (EoI) as two new entities have shown an early interest in bidding for the airline.

Resolution Professional for the airline, Ashish Chhawchharia, informed the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) about the development on Tuesday.

According to sources, one Indian entity backed by a UK-based investor, and a West Asian fund have shown an early interest in the company.

What this means is that South America’s Synergy Group, which was the sole potential bidder to submit the Expression of Interest, will have to put in a fresh EoI during the next round. Chhawchharia informed the NCLT that the company had submitted a draft business plan.

One of the persons mentioned above added that there were a few complications with Synergy's conditions. “They needed clarity on the slots, and the aircraft, which is not possible at the moment,” he added.

Allocation of slots

The representatives of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) clarified that they would “positively” consider allocating summer slots of Jet Airways if a firm business plan is given for the defunct airline by the investors.

A person in the know of Jet’s resolution process said, “The draft business plan is not compliant with our CIRP (corporate insolvency resolution process). We need a final resolution plan and further commitments from Synergy Group.”

The Synergy Group’s representatives were to meet the Mumbai Bench of NCLT on December 17. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, they could not be present. The RP informed the Bench that Synergy's representatives would come on December 19. The Bench obliged and posted the next hearing to the said date.

During the proceedings, MoCA joint secretary, Usha Padhee, said, “Air slots are perishable assets, and the public gets inconvenienced. Thus, they must be utilised by other airlines. The Ministry will examine the issue if Jet's prospective investor comes up with a concrete business plan.”

Some of Jet’s slots are allocated up to March 28, 2020, and some others are allocated already to Air India up to end of October 2020.

“The Ministry has taken a lenient view of the entire matter so far. Deadline for applying for the next round of slots is January 15," the official added.

Meanwhile, the RP is also trying to resolve the issue relating to six Jet aircraft over which the Exim Bank holds a charge. Sources said that Synergy wanted clarity on these aircraft.

Jet Airways stock closed at ₹21.20 apiece, up 4.95 per cent over the previous close on the BSE.

Jet was admitted under the insolvency process on June 20 after bankers failed to find any takers despite months of negotiations. The airline stopped flying on April 17, leaving over 14,000 employees high and dry.

The airline has received claims from creditors worth ₹36,090 crore of which ₹14,640 crore has been admitted as on October 20.

Published on December 18, 2019
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