Thursday, February 07, 2019

Jet Airways signs MoU with SBI, seeks govt nod for open offer exemption

Jet Airways and its biggest lender SBI have finally inked a MoU, pursuant to which the airline has formally applied to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for exemption from the takeover code and open offer, ET Now learns from sources.
Sources add the market regulator SEBI can approve this exemption if requested by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Call it deja vu, but this is exactly what happened in 2015 when Ajay Singh had been exempted from making an open offer to minority shareholders of Spicejet after buying a controlling stake of the cash-strapped airline from the then owner Kalanithi Maran.
Sources say as per the MoU, SBI may convert its debt to equity which will be worth almost a 15% stake in Jet Airways. If SBI infuses more funds into the airline, then its stake may rise to 30%.
In line with its policy Jet Airways does not comment on speculation.
Etihad from UAE has a 24% stake currently in Jet Airways and has agreed to inject funds so that its equity stake rises to 40-49%. This also means Etihad is looking for a seat in the cockpit to control Jet Airways.
07/02/19 Nayantara Rai/Economic Times