Jet-Sahara ownership under lens

New Delhi, Mumbai, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2006, 05:30am hrs
The Jet-Air Sahara deal has hit a new airpocket with the government planning to take a fresh look at the ownership pattern of the merged entity in addition to concerns raised over sharing of infrastructure.

According to a government functionary, the induction of five new directors in the Air Sahara board has been referred to the home ministry. The new directors will need to obtain a security clearance, the functionary said.

Addressing newspersons in Mumbai, Saroj Dutta, executive director, Jet Airways, said while Jet has already got the requisite clearance from the company affairs ministry for buying out the other airline, Air Sahara was still awaiting an approval from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the share purchase transfer agreement. The agreement expires March 24.

Sources said both Jet and Sahara may consider extending the transaction date beyond March 24 when the escrow account opened by Jet to transfer Rs 2,300 crore to Sahara expires.

Denying speculation that the deal between the two was off, Sahara officials maintained that there was no glitch in the deal and a decision was likely to be announced on March 24. Officials of Jet Airways were closeted in another day-long meeting on Tuesday at the Mumbai residence of chairman Naresh Goyal.