Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tatas eye stake in Jet Airways: Here's why the deal may not fructify

Mumbai: Tata Group has held preliminary talks for a stake purchase in Jet Airways, which would give struggling Mumbai-based airline a lifeline.

However, the discussions have not made much headway with management control of Jet being a sticking point, it is learnt.

Jet Airways is facing a cash crunch, resulting in salary delays and grounding of planes. It has been looking to raise funds through stake sale in its loyalty programme and fresh issue of shares in the company.

Discussions have been held with private equity firms Blackstone and TPG and also with Etihad Airways, which owns 24 per cent stake in the airline.

Preliminary talks were held with Tatas too but any stake sale in the airline depends upon Jet founder-chairman Naresh Goyal diluting his 51 per cent stake and ceding control, according to sources in the know.

A report in Times of India paper said Tatas are looking for a significant stake in the airline. Jet Airways has called the news "totally speculative" while Tata Sons declined comment.
18/10/18 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard