Jet’s EoI submission closes, at least 5 bids received: sources

jet airways

The initial phase of Jet Airways stake sale programme came to a close on Friday as scrutiny of at least 5 EoIs (expression of interest) started, sources said on Friday.

According to industry insiders, SBI Capital Markets (SBI Cap) and the airline’s lenders have received a lukewarm response with at least 5 prospective buyers sending in their EoIs.

“They are currently in the midst of evaluating the EoIs sent by various entities including airlines. Any official announcement on the selected entities will be made on Saturday,” an industry insider told IANS in New Delhi.

It was not known whether Jet’ former chairman Naresh Goyal submitted his initial bid. However, speculation is rife that state-run National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited (NIIFL), UAE-based Etihad Airways, some private venture funds have sent in their EoIs and were in touch with SBI Caps, the firm mandated to carry out the sale on behalf of the banks’ consotorium.

On Wednesday, lenders of the debt-ridden airline tweaked the terms for stake sale and also extended the submission deadline for EoI bids from prospective buyers.

As per a clarification document issued by investment banking major SBI Capital Markets (SBI Cap) on Wednesday, prospective buyers can acquire the company or effect change in its management control.

The prospective buyers would also be required to furnish solvency certificates.

In another ‘clarification’ document, the last date for EoI submission was extended from 6 p.m. on Wednesday to 6 p.m. on April 12.

Further fund infusion into the airline also hangs in the balance, as the lenders will decide whether to pump in more capital based on their assessment of response to the EoI.

The consortium of banks has appointed SBI Caps to take out the EoI and conduct the process of their stake sale in the airline.

According to the document, the last date for submission of queries has also been extended to April 11.

“While all soft copies of the EoIs are required to submitted by the due date, the hard copies may be submitted by April 16, 2019,” the document said.

The lenders have offered a stake from 31.2 to 75 per cent of the company on a fully diluted basis.

Currently, the airline owes Rs 8,000 crore to lenders, led by the SBI. On March 25, Goyal had stepped down from the board of the airline and ceded majority control to the SBI-led consortium.