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Friday, 29 March, 2019, 12 : 45 PM [IST]

SBI, Goyal reach out to TPG Capital & Delta Air to explore stake purchase

As per an Economic Times report, Jet Airways’ top lender State Bank of India (SBI) and its founder Naresh Goyal have reached out to private equity giant TPG Capital and US carrier Delta Air Lines to explore the possibility of a stake purchase in the beleaguered airline.

Two people in the know said that while SBI has begun exploratory talks with TPG, Goyal has reached out to Jet’s commercial partner Delta.

A senior bank official confirmed that TPG has been sounded out but cautioned that talks are very preliminary in nature and the real picture will emerge only after the bank asks for expressions of interest (EoIs) early next month.

“TPG is in touch but they being a PE fund are unlikely to take a majority stake. They may at best take some minority stake. Only airlines may be interested in buying a large stake. There may be other airlines interested which we will know only after the EoIs come in. This is all at a very preliminary stage right now so nothing can be said,” this official said.

Both had been wooed previously by Goyal without success. TPG Capital last year had shown interest in Jet’s loyalty programme Jet Privilege which was also up for sale.

A team from Delta visited Jet’s Mumbai office thrice this week. A third person in the know said this was to explore synergies in maintenance and engineering with the airline. Jet has deep commercial ties with the Air France-KLM combine and through them with Delta.

TPG declined to comment. Delta said it does not comment on market speculation. SBI and Jet didn’t reply to emails till the time of going to press. (Source: Economic Times)
 
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