Saturday, May 11, 2019

Etihad bids for Jet Airways, but wants to remain minority partner

Mumbai: Investors and employees of Jet Airways will have to wait a few more days, maybe even weeks, to know the fate of the beleaguered airline after Etihad Airways emerged the sole bidder on Friday with a conditional offer.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said it is interested in reinvesting in Jet, but warned that it cannot be expected to be the sole investor, and that the bulk of the recapitalisation requirements will have to depend on other investors.
“Etihad has made it clear that it’s not up to it to find a partner. It’s the responsibility of the banks that are running the process,” said a person close to the development. Lenders, who had called for bids last month, were relieved as the 6 pm deadline on Friday ended with Etihad’s offer.
Their task is cut out over the next few days, given Etihad’s conditions & the fact that no other serious bidder has so far stepped forward. The bankers had last month shortlisted four investors, including Etihad, and were hoping the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) would join the process. But in the end, they were left with one serious bid and two unsolicited bids.
“This is our last hope,” a banker close to the developments said late Friday evening. Officials of State Bank of India will meet on Monday to consider Etihad’s offer, and it appears the search for another investor (or investors) may resume given that Etihad only wants to make a limited investment to retain its stake at 24%.
11/05/19 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times
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