Friday, May 14, 2021

Go Air has filed for a ?3,600 crore IPO at a very desperate time

Budget carrier Go Airlines, which has rebranded itself as 'Go First', has filed the prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO) worth ?3,600 crore. The 15-year old airline owned by the Wadia Group, which also owns companies like Britannia and Bombay Dyeing, will use the money received from the share sale to repay its debt.

This would be the third listed airline in India after Interglobe Aviation (which operates IndiGo) and SpiceJet (owned by former bureaucrat-turned-businessman Ajay Singh) if the IPO goes through. Go Air had raked in a loss of ?1,270 crore for the year ended March 2020 on a revenue of over ?7,250 crore.

It is now focusing on ultra low cost carrier model. Of a fleet of 55 that the Wadias' airline had at the end of March 2021, 46 of them were A320 NEO aircraft. The company intends to add another 16 planes to its fleet by March 2024.

Aside from a massive debt of over ?2,000 crore, Go First has been dealing declining market share too. More than a tenth of that is the money owed to the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation for jet fuel already bought. Just about six months ago, in November 2020, the company's auditors had expressed doubts about the then Go Air's ability to continue its business, the disclosures in the IPO prospectus showed. After that, the company got an emergency credit line from banks in February 2021.

14/05/21 Sriram Iyer/Business Insider

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