Hindujas evince interest in Jet Airways
The Hindujas had reportedly shown interest in Air India when the govt put the national carrier up for privatisation
- Published 22.05.19, 12:36 AM
- Updated 22.05.19, 12:36 AM
- a min read
The Hinduja group is exploring the possibility of a bid for Jet Airways, which has ceased operations since April 17, with the lenders unable to find a buyer for the airline.
Jet’s shares took the skies on Tuesday following the Hinduja moves, rising 15 per cent to Rs 150.75 on the BSE, their best since January.
“Hinduja Group is evaluating the Jet Airways opportunity,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday.
While the SBI-led lenders’ consortium is still working on ways to revive the airline, the civil aviation ministry has awarded the carrier’s slots at various airports to other airlines on a temporary basis.
The Hinduja group is led by billionaire brothers Gopichand and Srichand Hinduja, who were named Britain’s wealthiest people for a third time in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List. Their interests range from banking and oil and gas to power.
The Hindujas had reportedly shown interest in Air India when the government put the national carrier up for privatisation. They had also joined hands with German carrier Lufthansa’s air cargo business in the 1990s before terminating the deal in the 1990s.
Analysts said the Hindujas had the financial strength to take over Jet, which owes more than Rs 8,500 crore to banks. Sources said Jet founder Naresh Goyal and the Hindujas had known each other for more than two decades.
A buyer for Jet has proved to be elusive so far. The airline is running out of time with many of its pilots joining rival carriers, while its slots have been temporarily given out to others.
The government is now set to parcel Jet’s lucrative overseas slots as well.
The State Bank of India (SBI), Jet’s leading lender, said it had received three conditional offers, including one from Etihad.
Etihad, which holds a minority stake in Jet, is interested in re-investing in the airline subject to certain conditions, a spokesman for the carrier said then, adding that it could not be the sole investor.
Jet has been rapidly shedding aircraft in recent weeks, as lessors have rushed to deregister and repossess planes.