SpiceJet-Maran truce likely
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked SpiceJet and its erstwhile promoter KAL Airways owned by Kalanithi Maran to explore an out of court settlement to resolve the additional Rs 300 crore sought by KAL in the share transfer dispute — even as the budget airline announced it has amicably resolved a financial dispute with creditor Credit Suisse AG to whom it reportedly owes over $24 million.
A bench of Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli adjourned the matter to April.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for SpiceJet said the airline had settled its dispute with Credit Suisse AG.
Rohatgi was responding to senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing KAL Airways, who feared his client would not be able to secure the over Rs 900 crore due from SpiceJet as the latter was facing winding-up proceedings.
Rohatgi said SpiceJet had already paid Rs 308 -crore cash and was willing to pay another Rs 300 crore. Dave said KAL Airways and Maran wanted another Rs 300 crore as the rate of interest should be 2 per cent over and above what was offered by banks.
The CJI asked the parties to explore an amicable settlement and report on April 12.
Maran has earlier turned down the Rs 600-crore offer made by the carrier.
Senior advocate Maninder Singh appearing for KAL Airways had informed the court that the Rs 600 crore offer made by SpiceJet was considered by the former but the same was not acceptable as according to him the actual dues were Rs 920 crore.
According to SpiceJet, of the Rs 578 crore awarded by an arbitration tribunal to KAL, SpiceJet has paid Rs 308 crore and had deposited a bank guarantee of Rs 270 crore.
SpiceJet was willing to pay the Rs 270 crore cash in lieu of bank guarantee and an additional amount of Rs 22 crore.
The Marans had signed a share purchase agreement with Ajay Singh on January 29, 2015 and transferred their entire 58.46 per cent shareholding to the businessman.
Under the agreement, KAL Airways and Maran were to be issued certain warrants and non-convertible redeemable cumulative preference shares in two tranches. Since these warrants were never given, the Marans had moved the arbitration tribunal and the Delhi high court for the resolution of the dispute.