AdiGro Aviation, a unit of the UK-based AdiGroup, on Thursday placed a binding bid for the cash-strapped Jet Airways. In its bid, the company has sought some haircut on the debt accumulated by the airline, Sanjay Viswanathan, chairman, AdiGroup, told Financial Express.
“We put a bid that takes into account the lender group. We have not asked for very large haircuts, we are also going to give equity to the lenders so that they can recover their money,” Viswanathan said.
This is the second time that the company submitted its bid for Jet Airways. Its earlier bid was rejected as the company was perceived to be part of a consortium which had Naresh Goyal, the ex-promoter of Jet Airways, as its member. The matter has since been clarified with SBI Caps, the spokesperson from Adi Partner said.
However, SBI Capital Markets will not formally consider the bid in the current round, the spokesperson added.
The UK-based firm is keen to take on Jet Airways, despite many niggling issues. The cash-strapped airline shut operations on April 17. Since its grounding, the government has allocated more than 100 slots that previously belonged to Jet Airways in various airports operated by Airports Authority of India to other airlines.
“It does not bother us that the slots allotted to Jet have been reallocated. Jet Airways needed network optimisation and fleet rationalisation. It had grown quite unweildy in terms of having routes that were unprofitable. If the bid is successful, we will not have to inherit all that legacy,” Viswanathan said.
If its bid is successful, AdiGro Aviation plans to restart Jet Airways as a much smaller operation.
“We don’t need that many slots. The market is big. Even if we start as a relatively small airline, with fewer slots and fewer planes, it’s only a matter of time before we come back if we deliver a great product,” Viswanathan said. In fact, they have already approached a number of individuals to be part of the board of the revamped airline, he added.
The firm is also keen to work alongside Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways. “Should Etihad choose to take an active role, we would welcome that,” Viswanathan said.