Industry

Etihad in the race to acquire Jet Airways

In the fray: Etihad may rope in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund to bid for the airline.

In the fray: Etihad may rope in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund to bid for the airline.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi carrier likely to submit bid along with the Hinduja Group

Etihad Airways PJSC, the national carrier of Abu Dhabi, is learnt to have initiated a fresh round of talks to bid for Jet Airways through the IBC process.

Etihad had always been interested but wanted a favourable deal, according people familiar with the development.

The foreign carrier, which has 24% stake in the grounded airline, is reportedly gearing up to submit a bid along with the Hinduja Group.

A detailed email sent to Etihad Airways remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

Similarly, an email to the Hinduja Group seeking a confirmation yielded no response.

Negotiations are underway between the two parties, the people said, but they did not elaborate.

Financial investor

The Hinduja Group, which had thrown its hat in the ring, is likely to come in as a financial investor.

Commenting on the development, Ambareesh Baliga, independent equity analyst said. “Yes, people are interested because Jet Airways still has brand equity. They may benefit but the company will offer nothing for retail or other shareholders as their value has been completely eroded.

“It does not make any sense for strategic investors to provide any premium because the company’s net worth is negative. Strategic investors will come at par and the dilution will be so huge that retail investors will be turned into micro minority. There will be nothing left for them,” Mr. Baliga said.

It is also believed that the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a joint venture between the government of India and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will be roped in by Etihad to bid for the airline.

All interested parties have been asked to submit expression of interest (EoI) by August 3, 2019 and the bidders will be shortlisted by August 14, 2019.

Besides the Etihad-Hinduja combine, a consortium of Jet Airways Employees’ union and the U.K.-based Adi Partners will be key contenders.

Reportedly the Tata Group, Qatar Airways, Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital are forming a consortium to bid.

Jet Airways shares closed with a loss of 1.87% at ₹44.55 on the BSE on Tuesday.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:46:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/etihad-in-the-race-to-acquire-jet-airways/article28692017.ece

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