Friday, April 07, 2006

Airlines fly for pvt equity

Mumbai: Air-Deccan, Kingfisher Airways and Go Air — all in different phases of development — are currently looking at private equity funding. Incidentally, so are startups like Premier Airways, a new airline promoted by a US-based NRI. India’s first low cost carrier, Air Deccan is currently in the middle of a pre-IPO private placement exercise.
Term sheets have been received from hedge funds and investors and the airline management is evaluating them, it is learnt. Air Deccan was able to secure about $40m from ICICI Venture fund and Capital International in ’04. This success set off a gold rush with three new domestic airlines taking wing and four more in the pipeline.
Mumbai-based Kingfisher airlines, is the second carrier that has been in the market for private equity for the past six to eight months, say sources in the investment banking business. CLSA currently has the mandate to advise the UB group-promoted carrier on its fund raising. The Wadia group promoted Go Air is the newest kid on the aviation block with a fleet of three planes. Managing director Jeh Wadia says he is still looking at various funding options including private equity.
07/04/06 Economic Times