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Jet Airways insolvency: A day after lenders allow FSTC consortium to revise bid, 'disappointed' Kalrock-Jalan hints at exiting the race

The consortium has shot off a letter to the CoC, alleging that FSTC's revision is a 'total disregard to the timelines'

September 29, 2020 / 12:48 PM IST

A day after Jet Airways Committee of Creditors put off voting on the two bids, the Kalrock Capital-Murari Jalan consortium has shot off a letter to the lenders, highlighting what it says is "total disregard to the timelines set for final submission of the resolution plan."

The Committee of Creditors, or CoC, consists of the lenders.

Clearly unhappy with FSTC-led consortium revising its bid despite the deadline, Kalrock-Jalan side said, "We fear that the FSTC consortium has intentionally chosen to disregard timelines set by the Hon'ble CoC and act in a manner which suits them and gives them some strategic advantage in wanton disregard of the sanctity of the entire process."

Expressing its "consternation and disappointment," the consortium said it doesn't need any more time to revise its bid. Instead, it called upon the CoC to consider the last resolution plans submitted by both the sides.

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The FSTC-led consortium also has Big Charter, and Imperial Capital Investments. Both FSTC and Big Charter are led by aviator-turned-entrepreneur Sanjay Mandavia.

Sources had earlier told Moneycontrol that the consortium led by FSTC had upped its offer on September 28, just before the CoC was to vote on the two bids. "The two sides have been given a few more days to resubmit their plans. They will be asked to make a presentation, and the voting will happen post that," a senior executive had told Moneycontrol.

This clearly hasn't gone down well with the Kalrock-Jalan combine, which was said to have been leading the race.

Signalling that it may now pull out, the consortium said: "With respect to our proposal, we request you to please consider our last offer, and vote on the plan before the end of this month, failing which, we will struggle to continue engaging meaningfully with the Hon'ble CoC in what is fast becoming an exercise being run on the terms that FSTC Consortium sets out – rather than the Hon'ble CoC."

Long drawn affair

Jet Airways, which was grounded in April 2019, was later in June admitted to the National Company Law Tribunal. Since then, the CoC has met 16 times to discuss bids. Deadlines too have been put off multiple times.

"There is no reason why the process has to befurther delayed. Look at how quickly the Virgin Australia sale was completed," said a senior executive from the industry.

Virgin Australia had filed for bankruptcy in April this year. In early  September, the airline's creditors approved private investment firm Bain Capital as the new owner. Bain Capital is expected to take over the reigns in October.

"Just when major tech and financial entities are investing in India, including in Reliance Industries, we have an insolvency process that has dragged on for more than a year. This tarnishes the image," said the executive quoted above.

While the Jet Airways CoC was now set to consider the revised bids for voting, one has to wait and see if the Kalrock-Jalan letter changes the circumstances, yet again.

Prince Mathews Thomas
Prince Mathews Thomas heads the corporate bureau of Moneycontrol. He has been covering the business world for 16 years, having worked in The Hindu Business Line, Forbes India, Dow Jones Newswires, The Economic Times, Business Standard and The Week. A Chevening scholar, Prince has also authored The Consolidators, a book on second generation entrepreneurs.
first published: Sep 29, 2020 11:49 am