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Sunday 23 February 2020

Jet Airways fails to find new suitor, EoI extension unlikely

Avantulo Group, Russian Fund Treasury were the first ones to submit EoI for Jet Airways followed by an exploratory EoI by Volcan Investment

Mumbai: The decision of the lenders of Jet Airways to extend the deadline for submission of expression of interest (EoI) did not pay any dividend as the grounded airline failed to attract any new bidder till 31 August, said a source familiar with the development.

The lenders had extended the date of submission of EoI till 31 August with the hope of getting more EoIs for the airline. Now, Jet’s Resolution Professional (RP), Ashish Chhawchharia, will evaluate the three EoIs he has received so far and furnish the list of eligible investors.

It is highly unlikely that the lenders and the RP will extend the deadline again, sources said.

Panama-based Avantulo Group and Russian Fund Treasury RA Creator were the first ones to submit EoI for Jet Airways followed by an exploratory EoI by billionaire Anil Agarwal family trust Volcan Investment. However, Volcan opted out of the race. South America-based Synergy Group Corp was the third one to submit an EoI.

The airline’s RP is in talks with the new suitor, which has shown genuine interest in the defunct airline, said people in the know. The Synergy Group is eyeing a 49% in the defunct airline and will also discuss co-investment options with the lenders and other infrastructure companies, the group’s advisor had said.

“We intend to structure the acquisition as a foreign company with 49% stake. Jet Airways is publicly listed and we hope lenders would be willing to convert their debt into equity. We will also discuss partnerships with Indian infrastructure companies. We have several options,” said Antonio Guizzetti, president of consultancy G&A, which is advising the Synergy Group regarding the stake buy.

Guizzetti said the amount of investment by the Synergy Group will depend on discussions and negotiations with banks and other creditors.

The RP has so far received claims of Rs 30,558 crore from financial creditors, operational creditors, and employees. In the revised claims data put out by the RP, of the total claims of Rs 30,558 crore, RP has accepted claims of Rs 12,555 crore and rejected claims worth Rs 11,995 crore with Rs 6,055 crore worth of claims still under verification. So far, Jet has received 18,596 claims, of which 13,911 have been admitted.

The airline came under insolvency on 20 June as lenders after months of negotiation failed to find any suitor. It had stopped flying on 17 April.

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