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Netherlands court threatens to sell Jet Airways assets

FE Bureau
Jet Airways, emergency funding, insolvency, industry news, Jet Airways news

The administrator of a Netherlands court, which is pursuing insolvency of grounded Jet Airways, on Wednesday threatened to sell off the confiscated assets of the debt-laden carrier because  of non-cooperation by the committee of creditors (CoC). A three-member bench headed by Justice SJ Mukhopadhyay has sought the lenders’ response on whether they are ready to pay fees and bear costs incurred by the Dutch court administrator, Rocco Mulder.

The NCLAT said it would consider similar treatment for creditors of foreign countries as financial creditors and could allow cost of insolvency resolution process at overseas location to be borne in India. The tribunal will further hear the case on September 4.

Representing Mulder, advocate Sumant Batra told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that the lenders are yet to decide on their claims.

“I will have to withdraw the undertaking for not disposing off the siezed assets since there is no response from the CoC on my demands,” Batra said.

The administrator undertook before the NCLAT on July 11 not to sell Jet’s assets till the pendency of the case. He had challenged the NCLT, Mumbai, decision to not consider the insolvency proceedings currently underway in the European nation. Staying the NCLT order, the appellate tribunal had said it will clarify law on the course of action when two insolvency proceedings are moved against the same company in different countries.

Jet, which terminated all operations on April 17, is facing insolvency proceedings in the Netherlands as well, where it was declared bankrupt after failing to pay two European creditors with dues of around Rs 280 crore. The Dutch court had seized one of Jet’s Boeing 777 aircraft that was parked in the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam where Jet had a regional office.

The NCLT Mumbai on June 20 admitted the insolvency petition filed by SBI against Jet which owes unpaid liabilities of around Rs 25,000 crore in the form of bank loans, unpaid salaries, vender dues and lease rentals. It appointed Grant Thornton’s Ashish Chhawchharia the interim RP with instructions to complete the resolution process in 90 days as the matter is of national importance.

Since then, Jet’s equity partner Etihad Airways and Anil Agarwal, executive chairman, Vedanta Resources, have backed out of the resolution process.