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Jet Airways crisis: SBI Caps, Darwin discuss unsolicited bid for grounded airlines

FE Bureau
Jet Airways crisis: SBI Caps, Darwin discuss unsolicited bid for grounded airlines

SBI Capital Markets, consultants for the sale of Jet Airways, has started meeting unsolicited bidders with Etihad expressing its limitation as far as investing in the airline is concerned. On Wednesday, officials from SBI Caps met Mumbai-based Darwin Group. SBI Caps has also been in touch with other unsolicited bidders for the airline, including UK-based group Adi Partners, and may meet them soon.

A State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders had in April initiated the sale process of the airline. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, the National Infrastructure and Investment Fund, private equity firms Indigo partners and TPG Capital were shortlisted as possible buyers.

Among the shortlisted bidders, no takers emerged for a majority stake in the airline by May 10, when the bidding process ended. Etihad Airways offered only to re-invest its minority stake in Jet Airways, subject to multiple conditions, including writing-off a considerable portion of the airline s debt.

Lenders have studied the contents of the Etihad offer and approached some potential investors, an official with knowledge of the matter told FE. SBI Caps is also meeting insurance experts and aviation consultants alongside to deliberate on ways to revive the airline.

Darwin Group, which submitted its bid on May 9, shared documents with SBI Caps for due diligence, a representative from the group said. The group claims it has around `14,000 crore ready to invest in the ailing airline.

More information has been sought from us, we have also sought access to documents to conduct our due diligence. Questions have been raised as to how the money will be infused into Jet. SBI Caps will communicate how to take this forward, probably within the next two days, the representative said.

Darwin Group has investments across 18 companies in sectors, including mining, oil and gas, hospitality and aviation.

On Tuesday, Vinod Dube resigned as CEO of the airline shortly after Amit Agarwal, deputy CEO and CFO, put in his papers. It is a unique situation wherein the top management has quit. At this stage it is unclear who will implement the decisions recommended by lenders, the official said.