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Sun 22 Dec 2019 10:01 AM

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SBI-led consortium to invite interested parties for Jet Airways

Creditors have received a 3-month extension to the resolution period for the grounded Indian carrier

SBI-led consortium to invite interested parties for Jet Airways

India’s insolvency court has granted a 3-month extension to the resolution period for Jet Airways, raising fresh hopes for a revival of the grounded carrier.

The move will allow the State Bank of India-led creditors to see fresh expressions of interest (Eols) for the debt-ridden Indian airline, in which Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways holds a 24 percent stake.

The Committee of Creditors (CoC) has indicated that two more prospective investors have shown interest in Jet and south the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) – the insolvency court which is dealing with the resolution process for the airline – extension of its resolution period.

The banking consortium, however, did not reveal who were the new prospective suitors for Jet Airways.

The lone investor which has shown an interest in taking over Jet, Synergy Group – a South American consortium – has also requested more time to conduct its due diligence of the airline.  

The 180-day period mandated under India’s Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) came to an end on December 16.

The NCLT also asked Synergy Group to expedite its decision on whether or not to invest in Jet Airways at a hearing late last week.

A Synergy Group representative informed the Tribunal that the company wants to comply with its directions, but also has to ensure that it takes the right decision on behalf of its stakeholders.

“We understand the urgency of the matter. However, we will require a little bit more time to arrive at the conclusion that this is the right decision on behalf of the stakeholders,” the Synergy Group representative added.

Synergy Group had earlier written to India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), asking for clarity on Jet Airway’s slots in various Indian and international airports.

After Jet Airways went bust in mid-April, the DGCA has temporarily allotted the hundreds of airport slots it owns to other carriers, with the aim of containing soaring airfare in the peak holiday season.

“Some of the criteria that need to be resolved are that we are looking to float a new company free of all legacy liabilities of the erstwhile Jet Airways,” the Synergy Group representative told the tribunal. “We may want to look at partnering with an Indian partner.”

Under India’s foreign direct investment policy, foreign airlines or investors are allowed to hold only up to 49 percent equity in domestic airline ventures.

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