Etihad submits bid for India's Jet, eyes minority stake

Jet Airways Adi Gro Aviation part of the London-based Adi Partners submitted a binding bid to buy a stake in the grounded Jet Airways. The last date for submitting the bids is May 10. The lenders led by SBI are likely to decide the winning bidder for Je

"Etihad today confirmed its interest to re-invest in a minority stake in Jet Airways, subject to conditions", a spokesperson said. As Jet waits to see if any investors will submit binding bids on Friday to bail it out, other carriers are swooping in to scoop up its precious landing slots, which would allow them to operate more flights. "Etihad re-emphasises that it can not 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". It added that the banks are likely to evaluate the bids next week. Etihad now has 24 pc stake in the temporarily grounded Jet Airways. SBI Caps, which has conducted the bidding on behalf of the lenders' consortium, said banks would now examine the bid and also decide on the legality of two unsolicited bids which have been received.

Lenders had put 75% stake of Jet Airways on sale.

Etihad was among four investors that submitted initial bids for the airline last month.

Commenting on the development, Club One Air Chief Executive and former India head of Qatar Airways Rajan Mehra said he can not reject the bids as non-serious.

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State Bank of India (SBI) said on Friday it had received two unsolicited, non-binding bids for debt-laden Jet Airways Ltd, but none of the parties it short-listed last month as qualified bidders had so far entered the fray.

The distressed airline, which had more than 120 planes in its fleet, has been grappling with financial woes.

Private equity firms IndiGo Partners and TPG, Etihad Airways and the sovereign fund NIIF were shortlisted on April 12 after the first round of bids. The lenders' consortium had also announced that it would infuse emergency funding of Rs 1,500 crore to keep Jet Airways afloat, but this money was never transferred, leading to Jet sinking into a deeper financial crisis and eventually causing its temporary shutdown on April 18.

Jet founder Naresh Goyal, who was forced to step down from the airline on 25 March as part of a deal with lenders, had earlier partnered with Future Trend Capital to submit a bid for investing in the airline.

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