Etihad, Jet to finalise stake-sale deal soon

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 23 2013, 06:46am hrs
Naresh Goyal-owned Jet Airways is likely to announce a stake sale deal with Etihad Airways in the next 7-10 days. The proposal for stake sale will be taken up by Jets board of directors at a meeting where the fiscal third quarter results will also be taken up, sources in the know of the development told FE.

The deal is likely to see Etihad take up a 24% stake in the Indian carrier, the first instance of a foreign carrier investing in an Indian airline since the government allowed foreign direct investment in domestic airlines in September 2012.

The deal will be carried out via mix of fresh equity issue and warrants issue, said a person in the know of the development. Post the deal, Naresh Goyal will continue to be promoter but Etihad will get two board seats.

Apart from this the management structure will not see much change, the person added. On Tuesday, television channels reported that a deal has been finalised valuing Jet at Rs 760 per share giving it an overall value of around Rs 6,700 crore, a 15-20% premium to Jets current market value.

Jets shares closed 0.71% higher at Rs 609.85 on the BSE on Tuesday. As per Tuesdays share price Jets market valuation was Rs 5,265 crore.

I cannot give a firm indication about the valuation as it is yet to be finalised, the person added. The negotiations are over and now it is up to the boards of the two companies to decide.

A deal between the two airlines is seen to be mutually beneficial to both. While Etihad will get to tap into Jets domestic presence to tap into the Indian market, Jet will be able to bring down debt from the cash infusion as well as expand globally along side Etihad.

Sources added that Jet is likely to make an additional hub at Abu Dhabi for international operations. The two airlines already have a codeshare agreement and most of Jets international capacity is directed to the Gulf region.