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Thursday, 02 May, 2019, 11 : 00 AM [IST]

With 9 days left for bid submission, no expressions of interest from Jet’s bidders yet

As per an ET report by Anirban Chowdhury, bidders for Jet Airways so far appear uninterested in following up on their expressions of interest, dealing a major blow to the early revival of the airline.

With just ten days to go for final submission of bids, three of the four qualified bidders — Etihad Airways, TPG Capital and Indigo Partners — have not signed nondisclosure agreements, a must for conducting due diligence. None of the bidders, barring National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), has been accessing the data room where potential investors are supposed to peruse Jet’s accounts and key documents as part of the due diligence. They have till May 10 to submit their bids. But no stakeholder is hopeful.

“We are staring at an obituary,” said an executive at one of Jet’s key lenders. Capital Markets is running the bid process.

Meanwhile, in a last-ditch, largely futile, attempt to save the carrier, Jet’s top management and executives have been knocking on the doors of India’s biggest business houses, appealing for investment, said two people in the know.
In the last two weeks, Jet’s CEO Vinay Dube, its Finance Chief Amit Agarwal and its Chief Strategy Officer Rajesh Prasad have met executives at the Mahindra, Adani and Tata groups as well as Reliance Industries.

The executives went with a business plan of Jet coming back to operations at half its original size, with about 50 planes. None of the conglomerates responded positively, said two of the people cited above.

India’s oldest private airline suspended all flights on April 17, as it ran out of cash to sustain operations and failed to raise interim loans from banks. More than 18,000 employees have been left in the lurch; planes are being deregistered and given away to competitors. Flight slots at key airports Delhi and Mumbai are also being given away to Jet’s peers. “There is nothing left in the company other than slots and licence. No physical infrastructure exists,” said the banker cited above. (Source: ET)

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