Jet Airways lenders pick four bidders for debt-laden airline's stake sale; uncertainty over emergency funding continues

Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube in an internal communication has said the lenders could not decide on the emergency funding and that the board of the airline will meet on Tuesday to take a call on the future.

FP Staff April 16, 2019 13:44:00 IST
Jet Airways lenders pick four bidders for debt-laden airline's stake sale; uncertainty over emergency funding continues
  • The shortlisted bidders including NIIF will conduct an independent due diligence of the debt-laden airline

  • Jet Airways' survival remained under serious threat after its lenders on Monday deferred to provide emergency funds to the carrier

  • The airline said its services on overseas routes will remain grounded until 18 April due to non-receipt of emergency funds from its lenders

Amid the uncertainty over the release of emergency funding to ailing Jet Airways, a consortium of lenders reportedly picked four firms including Etihad Airways and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to place bids for acquiring a majority stake in the airline, said a media report.

According to MintEtihad Airways, India’s first sovereign wealth fund NIIF and private equity firms TPG Capital as well as Indigo Partners were shortlisted on Monday to place binding bids for Jet Airways.

The shortlisted bidders will conduct independent due diligence of the airline, said the report quoting a person aware of the development adding there was a possibility that Etihad, TPG Capital and NIIF might form a consortium to jointly bid for the airline at a later stage.

Jet Airways lenders pick four bidders for debtladen airlines stake sale uncertainty over emergency funding continues

Representational image. Reuters

Meanwhile, a State Bank of India (SBI) spokesperson said that the prospective bidders would be shortlisted by SBI Caps soon. The spokesperson said that the bid process for the sale of equity in Jet Airways is currently being run by SBI Caps.

The SBI is acting on behalf of the group of lenders as part of the bank-led resolution process for the debt-laden Jet Airways. Necessary support to facilitate the process is being extended by other banks in the consortium.

"Cooperation and support from all other stakeholders will be the key to the success of the process," SBI said.

Jet Airways' survival remained under serious threat after its lenders on Monday deferred a much-anticipated decision to provide emergency funds to the carrier following a marathon meeting, even as its pilots' union appealed to the lenders and the prime minister to save the airline, reported PTI.

Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube in an internal communication has said the lenders could not decide on the emergency funding and that the board of the airline will meet on Tuesday to take a call on the future.

Jet Airways on Monday said its services on overseas routes will remain grounded until 18 April, even as the lenders failed to take a call on extending an emergency funding to the airline.

Dube said the decision was taken following the non-receipt of funds from its lenders, who have now management control of the airline following a debt-restructuring plan last month.

This is the third time that airline has extended the suspension of these flights, which was first announced for last Thursday.

With PTI inputs

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