Jet Airways stocks soared on Monday amid talk that it was in discussions with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways for a possible stake sale. Unconfirmed reports said Etihad is looking to pick up 24 per cent in the Naresh Goyal-promoted Jet in a deal expected to be worth around Rs 2,200 crore.
“The deal may not only be for funds... the airline may be much ahead of others after the deal,” a source said.
The Jet stock touched a 52-week high of Rs 598.80 on the Bombay Stock Exchange during the day’s trade, but closed 10.8 per cent up at Rs 564.40. SpiceJet’s stock too touched a 52-week high of Rs 46.85, buoyed by reports of a possible stake sale to Qatar Airways or Air Asia. The airline stock finally closed 12.98 per cent up at Rs 44.40.
A Jet Airways spokesperson said the company cannot comment on such speculative reports. “As and when we do undertake any strategic initiatives, Jet Airways will advise the concerned authorities,” said the spokesperson.
Spicejet denied the reports, even sending a clarification to the BSE. “Though a few investors have evinced interest, it will be very premature to comment on the possibilities of any fresh equity issuance to such interested parties or confirm/deny names of any specific entity,” the communication read. Air Asia too denied being interested in buying stake in Indian carriers.
Goyal holds about 80 per cent shares in Jet and had earlier said that he was willing to dilute up to 20 per cent of his holding.
Sources also said that Jet might shelve plans to join the Star alliance after the deal with Etihad.