New Delhi: A section of grounded Jet Airways’ employees comprising members of airline unions have written to SBI Caps seeking asset and other financial details of the crisis-hit company for raising $700 million (Rs 4,917 crore) from a mix of domestic and foreign investors.
SBI Caps is the transaction advisor for the lenders of Jet Airways and managing the stake sale process for the debt-laden carrier. The State Bank of India (SBI) is the lead lender and currently in management control of the airline.
“We would like to assure you that our resources are at your disposal if they can be of any help. Also, as understood by us during the meeting of 2nd May, we are actively working with potential Indian and foreign investors to secure equity based funding commitment of $700 million,” Capt. P.P. Singh, Senior Vice President at Jet Airways, wrote to SBI Caps.
Sensing that the options to revive the grounded airline are fast running out, a group of employees had on April 29 proposed to bid for management control of the airline. They claimed to secure a funding of Rs 3,000 crore from outside investors.
The employee group comprises members of Society for Welfare of Indian Pilots (SWIP) and Jet Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Welfare Association (JAMEWA). It is being led by Singh.
The employee-investor consortium has asked SBI Caps to provide details about the level of debt post haircut by banks and restructuring. Among key financial details, Singh has asked as to how much stake investors will get after infusing $700 million and the fund requirements for running the airline for the next 24 months.
Facing a severe liquidity crisis, Jet Airways had suspended its operations on April 17 and remains grounded. The airline lenders are trying to rope in an investor to resuscitate the airline and recover their money.
While lenders are vetting various proposals, most of the top airline executives including its CEO, CFO and the Company Secretary have resigned from their respective positions citing personal reasons. Close on the heels of resignation by airline’s whole-time director Gaurang Shetty, Etihad nominee on the board Robin Kamark resigned on May 16.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which holds 24 per cent stake in crisis-hit Jet Airways, is currently the only solicited bidder for a stake in the airline. But experts have found its bid unattractive for the lenders, given multiple riders attached to it.
Besides offering to invest just Rs 1,700 crore against the requirement of Rs 15,000 crore to revive the crisis-hit airline, Etihad, has in its proposal, put the onus of finding a majority buyer on the lenders. The Gulf carrier also wants exemption from giving an open offer in case its stake goes beyond 26 per cent.