Jet Airways sale: SBI Caps rules out Darwin as potential investor

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Published: May 17, 2019 12:16:59 AM

SBI Capital Markets, the appointed consultant for Jet Airways sale, is unlikely to consider the Darwin Group’s proposal to invest in the airline.

Jet Airways was grounded on April 17 after the lenders rejected its request to provide emergency funding.Jet Airways was grounded on April 17 after the lenders rejected its request to provide emergency funding.

SBI Capital Markets, the appointed consultant for Jet Airways sale, is unlikely to consider the Darwin Group’s proposal to invest in the airline. The group, which claimed it was ready to invest `14,000 crore, did not meet minimum standards of due diligence done by SBI Caps, an official with knowledge of the matter said.

A State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders had in April initiated the sale process of the airline. Among the shortlisted bidders, no takers emerged for a majority stake in the airline by May 10, when the bidding process ended. Etihad Airways offered only to invest in a minority stake up to 24.9% in Jet Airways, subject to multiple conditions.

“Lenders are now considering an arrangement wherein multiple parties invest in a minority stake of the airline,” the official said, adding the liquidation of the company is the last option on the table.

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SBI Caps has asked other unsolicited bidders, including UK-based firm Adi Partners, to furnish information for due diligence. Jason Unsworth, a former airline service employee-turned-businessman, who claims to have submitted a bid for the Jet Airways, will likely be weeded out, since he has not yet given the required documents, the official said. It’s not clear whether SBI Caps will present any of the unsolicited bidders before the lenders in a meeting scheduled on Friday.

Jet Airways was grounded on April 17 after the lenders rejected its request to provide emergency funding. The civil aviation ministry has allotted a significant portion of the airline’s slots in major airports to other scheduled carriers.

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