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Naresh Goyal pledges 26 per cent stake in Jet Airways with PNB for loans

Naresh Goyal

Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal has pledged 26 per cent stake in the airline as security for loans from Punjab National Bank, according to a filing with the BSE.

Last month, Goyal stepped down as the chairman of the airline as part of a debt-resolution plan. This is expected to enable the banks to fund a suitor for the ailing carrier. Earlier, the banks proposed a resolution plan in accordance with the February 12 circular of the Reserve Bank of India, which was set aside by the Supreme Court.

Jet Airways Thursday informed the stock exchanges that Goyal has pledged over 2.95 crore shares or 26.01 per cent stake with Punjab National Bank. The pledge was created on April 4 as "security for existing/ new borrowings taken by Jet Airways (India) Ltd," the filing to the BSE said.

On the same day, over 5.79 crore shares held by him were released. Those were kept under "non disposal undertaking" as security for borrowings taken by the airline, as per the filing. Currently, the lenders to Jet Airways led by the State Bank of India are under process of finding a buyer for the airline.

Wednesday, SBICAPs, which is overseeing the stake sale process on behalf of the consortium of banks, said that it has received some expression of interests, with some parties having expressed desire to participate if additional time is provided. SBICAPs extended the deadline for submissions of EOIs. According to sources, bids were received from private equity firms such as TPG Capital and Indigo Partners and also government-backed National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF).

On April 8, SBICAPs invited bids on behalf of the lenders led by SBI, which has put between 31 per cent and up to 75 per cent in the airline for investors. It further said qualified bidder/s will be expected to submit their respective binding bids by April 30. Earlier, the lenders also tweaked terms for share sale in the airline, which is now under the management control of the SBI-led consortium. As part of the debt resolution plan for the carrier, the lenders are now looking at restructuring the "existing facilities and infusion of fresh funds by way of loans or acquisition/ subscription of up to 75 per cent of equity share capital of the company".

On March 25, Jet Airways' board had approved a resolution plan formulated by SBI-led domestic lenders, under which the lenders decided to take control of the airline and make a fund infusion of Rs 1,500 crore but the amount is yet to be released to the airline.

In the original expression of interest, SBICAPs also noted that government promoted funds, quasi sovereign wealth funds shall not be required to meet the qualification criteria, as stated above. Further, it said, such funds shall not be required to respond to expression of interest and would be eligible to directly procure bid document free of cost and submit their bids till the last day announced for submission of bids.