The Hindu Business Line
Etihad, Anil Agarwal drop plans to bid for Jet Airways
Liquidation may be the only option for the stressed airline
Jet Airways seems to be heading towards liquidation with two major entities that were earlier expected to bid for the airline withdrawing from the race on Monday.
While Etihad Airways said it has declined to submit an expression of interest (EoI) to acquire Jet’s assets because of unresolved issues concerning the latter’s liabilities, Anil Agarwal’s family trust Volcan Investments, not assigning any reason, said it does not intend to pursue the deal.
“The EoI for Jet Airways by Volcan was exploratory in nature,” said a Volcan statement.
“On further evaluation and considering other priorities, we intend to not pursue this further.”
“India is amongst the largest and fastest growing aviation markets in the world...many airlines and investors will look at this opportunity,” it added.
In response to BusinessLine’s query, Etihad on Monday said: “Etihad presented a conditional EoI to reinvest in Jet as a minority stakeholder, with an agreed partner, but unfortunately this did not materialise. Etihad remained engaged in the process, but despite the endeavours of everyone involved there remained very significant issues relating to Jet’s previous liabilities. Regrettably, in these circumstances, it was neither feasible for, nor responsible, of Etihad to reinvest in Jet at this time.”
Two players left
This leaves only two relatively unknown players in the fray. One is a Panama-registered entity, but it is not clear who is behind this company.
Another entity, called Russian Fund Treasury RA Creator, is also understood to have put in a bid but its Indian representative was not reachable for a comment.
Final bids from the short-listed players are expected to be submitted by September 12. “If there is no credible player interested in acquiring Jet’s assets, the lenders will be left with no option except to liquidate it,” said a market analyst.
After its grounding, Jet’s lead lender State Bank of India had dragged it to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to recover its dues. Ashish Chhawchharia, Jet’s resolution professional (RP), had received 16,643 claims worth ₹24,888 crore from financial, operational and other creditors.