Mumbai, Moments before the window for submitting binding bids closed, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways gave its “conditional” bid for the grounded Jet Airways emphasising that it cannot be the sole investor.
The official deadline for submission of binding bids ended at 6 p.m. on Friday.
A 24 per cent stake holder in the crisis-hit airline, Etihad, in an official statement, said that it had been working with various stakeholders for the past 15 months to find a solution to make Jet Airways viable and competitive.
IANS had earlier reported Etihad’s intent on sending in a bid, subject to certain conditions. In fact, this newswire had reported that investors lost interest in the airline after its valuable time slots at airports were allocated to other players.
“Etihad Airways today confirmed its interest to re-invest in a minority stake in India’s Jet Airways, subject to conditions,” the airline said in a statement.
“Etihad re-emphasises that it cannot be expected to be the sole investor, and that, amongst other requirements, additional suitable investors would need to provide the majority of Jet Airways’ required recapitalisation,” the statement added.
SBI Capital Markets had initiated the bid process from prospective investors for Jet Airways.
Lenders of Jet Airways led by the state-run State Bank of India (SBI) had mandated SBICaps to initiate the process of selling the airline to recover their dues of over Rs 8,400 crore.
Private equity firm TPG Capital, Indigo Partners, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Etihad were in the race to buy a stake in the grounded Jet Airways.
“Sealed bid from Etihad Airways PJSC has been received and the same will be submitted to lenders for examination,” SBI Caps said in a statement.
“Few unsolicited offers have also been received which the lenders may deliberate upon subsequently.”
Earlier, a senior banking official had told IANS that lenders are said to be preparing a contingency plan to allow certain parties, including a group of airline employees who have shown interest in taking over the airline, a chance to present their case.
As per informed sources, at least three unsolicited bids have been received.
Last month, Jet was forced to announce temporary suspension of all flight services as it was unable to maintain even bare minimum operations.
Before temporarily suspending all its flight services, Jet had already folded up most of its operations due to grounding of around 90 per cent of its fleet by lessors, as its consortium of lenders refused to extend loans to the cash-strapped airline.