Thursday, November 29, 2018

An Indian partner may help Etihad take control of Jet

Mumbai:Jet Airways and Etihad Airways are in discussions to rope in a third party—an Indian entity— which will partner Etihad in buying a majority stake and management control in Jet, said a person aware of the discussions.

He didn’t elaborate names but said private equity players have been approached.

“In line with its policy, Jet Airways does not comment on speculation,” said an airline spokesperson in response to an email seeking comment.

Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal is wooing Abu-Dhabi based Etihad to increase its stake in his airline from 24% currently to as much as 49%. But a foreign player can’t have management control in an Indian airline and that has spurted the search for an Indian partner.

Goyal earlier this month, flew to Abu Dhabi meeting not just the Etihad management but also the royal family including crown prince Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.

These were meetings that helped resume discussions between the two airlines after Etihad had initially made its disinterest for further investment clear. Etihad, also has the right of first refusal, a crucial advantage at a time when the Jet Airways founder is scouring for investors.
29/11/18 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times

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