Jet Airways’ new investor needs to bring Rs 4,500 crore capital: SBI official

NEW DELHI: A new investor in the cash-strapped Jet Airways will have to bring in about Rs 4,500 crore capital for running the airline, according to a senior SBI official.

State Bank of India (SBI), which is the leader of the group of 26 lenders, will next month invite Expression of Interest from buyers willing to takeover the airline and will finalise the investor by May end.

According to the official, there has been a lot of interest in the airline and the buyer has to bring in equity of about Rs 4,500 crore to keep it running.

“It is a good airline, and we have seen a lot of interest from investors in Jet Airways,” the official said.

Lenders have decided to invite expression of interest by April 9 and binding bids by April 30.

“It could be financial investor, it could be airline…including Naresh Goyal himself or Etihad. No body is barred from bidding or taking over the airline as per the rule,” SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar had said.

Meanwhile, a consortium of lenders led by the SBI Monday agreed to 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.

As a result, the stake of promoter Naresh Goyal came down to 25 per cent from 51 per cent, while Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which had a 24 per cent stake in the carrier, came down to 12 per cent.

Jet Airways has a debt of over Rs 8,200 crore and needs to make repayments of up to Rs 1,700 crore by the end of March.

After weeks of speculations 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 of the company.

Source: Press Trust of India

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