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Last Updated : Apr 15, 2019 11:25 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

US, UK-based firms backing Naresh Goyal's bid for Jet Airways, but lenders may not let him back in: Report

Naresh Goyal submitted his expression of interest (EoI) for Jet Airways on April 12 along with Future Trend and London-based Adi Partners Sources

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Naresh Goyal's bid for Jet Airways is reportedly being backed by Delaware-based Future Trend Capital. His bid comes a month after he stepped down as Chairman of the carrier, which is struggling to stay afloat.

The general sales agency (GSA) from which Jet Airways originated, Jetair, submitted its expression of interest (EoI) on April 12 along with Future Trend. Sources told The Economic Times that Adi Partners, a London-based firm, is also connected to this consortium.

It was reported that lenders may not let Goyal regain control of Jet Airways. He was allowed to submit a bid only if he did so as part of a consortium with other investors and held a minority stake. Apparently, his bid does not satisfy these conditions.

"Technically, there is nothing that stops Goyal and his associates from bidding. The forensic report has so far not gone against him. Also, Jet Airways is not a case under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC) that bars existing promoters from re-entering. But after being almost nudged out from the board and management, it's a call the bankers would have to take," a banker told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

Moneycontrol couldn’t independently verify the report.

Banking experts had suggested that multiple, unconnected investors be brought on board to save the carrier. "Investments by Etihad, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, or private equity fund TPG Capital could be a way to avoid an open offer," a source told the newspaper.

Etihad has made it clear it does not want to exceed its stake in Jet Airways beyond 25 percent, as that would mandate an open offer for an additional 20 percent. Due to government restraints, it cannot surpass the threshold of 49 percent stake. It currently owns a 24 percent stake in the airline.

Banks are contemplating whether to release Rs 1,000 crore in interim funding for the airline, as per a request by Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube. Industry experts believe the carrier has a chance of surviving this rough patch if banks release this fund.

Jet Airways is currently operating just seven aircraft, six ATR turboprop planes and one Boeing 737, down from its 124-strong fleet in December. The pilots and engineers of the airline have not been paid since January. The airline had also deferred paying March salaries to all its employees.

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First Published on Apr 15, 2019 11:25 am
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