Saturday, November 17, 2018

Early talks on, formal proposal yet to take off: Tatas on Jet Deal

Mumbai: : Tata Sons said it’s in preliminary discussions with Jet Airways but is yet to make any formal proposal to take over India’s second-biggest airline by revenue.

“Over the last few days there has been growing speculation in the print and electronic media about Tata’s interest in Jet Airways,” the Tata group holding company said in a release on Friday, going public with the news for the first time. “We would like to clarify that any such discussions have been preliminary and no proposal has been made.”

The Tata Sons board, which met earlier in the day, fully backed chairman N Chandrasekaran’s efforts to strengthen the airline business of the group, multiple sources told ET. The group has two joint ventures in the sector — full-service Vistara with Singapore Airlines and low-cost AirAsia India with AirAsia Bhd.

Talks are being led by Chandrasekaran and the Tata mergers and acquisitions team with inputs from chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, said people with knowledge of the matter. ET first reported on November 15 that the Tata group was in talks with Jet for an allstock merger with its joint venture with Singapore Airlines. ET reported Friday that the group may seek to end its partnership with AirAsia to focus on Vistara.
Tata and Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet Airways are planning a two-step transaction, the first leg of which could see the merger of Jet with Tata SIA Airlines, the joint venture that operates Vistara. The second step of the deal could involve the purchase of the Goyal family’s stake in the combined entity by Singapore Airlines, sources have told ET.
17/11/18 Economic Times