Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Air Canada, Vistara circle Jet Airways, lenders extend bid deadline

State Bank of India (SBI) and executives of Jet Airways met late on Wednesday to approve the appointment of A K Purwar, former SBI chief, to take over as chairman of Jet Airways as an interim arrangement.

The meeting also discussed a long-term strategy to save the debt-laden carrier which is yet to shortlist a suitor to take over its management. Meanwhile, bankers have extended the timeline to submit the Expression of Interest (EOIs) to April 12 for the third time to give more players adequate time to participate. Binding bids have to be submitted by April 30.

SBI Caps, the merchant banker appointed to find a new owner, said in a release late on Wednesday, "As part of the process, we are in receipt of some EOIs and some more persons have expressed desire to participate if additional time is provided. In order to allow for better participation, lenders have agreed to extension of timeline."
Air Canada, AirAsia and Vistara are some of the airlines which have made enquiries on the bidding process for taking over Jet Airways. Lenders are offering to offload up to 75% stake in the airline.

The binding bids have to be submitted by April 30, 2019.

"There are a lot of inquiries from different investors. Air Canada, Air Asia and Vistara made some preliminary inquiries. Some of the bidders wanted to come as a consortium to share the cost of taking over the airline," said a banker.
On Wednesday, Jet Airways's shares fell 1.59% to Rs 263.40 apiece on BSE.

To be certain that genuine parties are bidding, SBI Caps, the merchant banker undertaking the task, said all members of the consortium have to provide their details, which then have to be certified by their managing director or chief executive director.
10/04/19 Manju AB/Shahkar Abidi/DNA