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Etihad eyes minor stake in Jet; steers away from huge investment

Etihad and Jet Airways logo

Etihad and Jet Airways logo; Picture: DutchCham

Etihad has submitted its bid for a minority stake in Jet Airways. It is the only one out of the four initial investors to submit an early bid in the airlines. The former has emphasized its position as a minor investor and has talked about the need for other suitable investors.

Bengaluru: Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways has submitted a bid for a minor stake in the debt-stricken Jet Airways. The airline is currently saddled with roughly $1.2 billion in bank debt.

Naresh Goyal, Founder, Jet Airways

Naresh Goyal, Founder, Jet Airways; Picture: Yo! Success

SBI had earlier invited binding bids for a stake in the airline. The binding offers were due by 1800 IST on 10th May 2019. Out of the four shortlisted suitors, Etihad is the only one to have stepped up to submit a bid.

Etihad re-emphasizes that it cannot be expected to be the sole investor. Moreover,  amongst other requirements, additional suitable investors would need to provide the majority of Jet Airways’ required recapitalization

– Etihad spokesperson

Etihad’s history with Jet

Etihad already holds a 24% stake in the airline and was one of the four investors that submitted initial bids for it. The other three were TPG Capital and Indigo Partners and Indian wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The airlines had been working to help find a solution to ensure Jet’s return as a viable and competitive Indian airline. For this, it had been engaging with key stakeholders of the country and continues to do so.

Related Article: Spicejet takes its chance on the Jet crisis

Jet temporarily suspended all operations on April 17, 2019, due to a lack of funds to keep the airline afloat. This had happened after lenders led by SBI declined the management’s request to infuse emergency capital into the airline.

However, all is far from gone for the airline. A ray of hope shines through as unsolicited bidders have lined up, showing interest in taking over the airline. For instance, Jet Airways’ Employee Consortium has offered to raise Rs 7,000 crore to invest in the airline.


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