Canindia News

Spotlight & suspense over Etihad in Jet recast

New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) The turn of events for the cash-strapped Jet Airways has put the spotlight on the now 12 per cent partner Etihad’s next move, and whether it wants to stay with the airline with an interim management now and later with new owners after four months.

A consortium of lenders led by the SBI has put in Rs 1,500 crore immediate funding by acquiring 51 per cent stake in the company through issue of Rs 11.4 crore fresh shares.

This has led to the stake of promoter Naresh Goyal coming down to 25 per cent from 50 per cent, while Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which had a 24 per cent stake in the carrier, came down to 12 per cent.

SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar told a TV channel: “It (the new owner) could be financial investor, it could be an airline…including Naresh Goyal himself or Etihad. No body is barred from bidding or taking over the airline as per the rule,” he said.

Sources said Etihad wanted to exit even in the current stage with Naresh Goyal on board and it had expressed its views to the current caretaker owner SBI. Etihad is learnt to be keen on selling its stake by selling out to the bank a few days ago. But recently SBI chairman Kumar said the decision of Etihad is not conclusive.

As a result, the stake of Naresh Goyal will come down to 25 per cent from 50 per cent, while that of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which was 24 per cent in the carrier, came down to 12 per cent.

A bidding process will be initiated by lenders for sale to new investor(s). The process expected to be completed in June .

Jet Airways’ founder and chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal have stepped down from the board of the ailing airline following reduction in their stake to 25 per cent as per the resolution plan formulated by SBI-led domestic lenders.

After weeks of speculation and uncertainties over the future course of Jet Airways, which has grounded over 80 planes due to financial woes, approved constitution of an interim management committee to manage and monitor the daily operations and cash flow.




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