The UAE-based investment house Istithmar PJSC has sold most of its entire 13.39 per cent holding worth Rs. 169 crore in no-frill carrier SpiceJet to domestic funds and a foreign institutional investor, airline officials said on Friday.

“We learnt about it this morning that Istithmar has sold about 31.5 million shares out of the 32.3 million they held,” SpiceJet CEO Sanjay Aggarwal told PTI here.

Istithmar, however, still holds about $12 million worth of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), Mr. Aggarwal said.

“We are encouraged to see that SpiceJet business generates so much of interest that they have been able to sell so much of their holdings,” Mr. Aggarwal said. The airline plans to fly abroad soon after it completes five years of domestic operations in May-end this year.

Istithmar sold its stake for a total consideration of over Rs. 160 crore to a couple of domestic funds and an FII, with Bank of America Merill Lynch being the sole arranger of the deal, sources close to the deal said.

The Dubai liquidity crunch was the prime reason for Istithmar to sell its stake worth Rs. 160 crore, they said.

The leading private equity firm had last December announced raising its stake in SpiceJet to $50 million from its earlier investment of $12.5 million through foreign currency convertible bonds.

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