Etihad Airways is the latest player to enter the race to acquire a stake in debt-laden Jet Airways, with the Abu Dhabi-based airline submitting the Expression of Interest (EOI) today, sources aware of the development told CNBC-TV18.
With Etihad Airways submitting an EOI today, the total number of bids received so far stands at five. CNBC-TV18 had earlier reported that National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and a consortium of Think Equity-Redcliffe Capital have already submitted EOIs for Jet, even as lenders led by the State Bank of India (SBI) extended the bidding deadline by two days.
Etihad Airways already holds 24 percent stake in the airline, and may look to take its holding up to 49 percent, the sources told CNBC-TV18.
Jet Airways, facing its worst financial crisis since it started operations, had earlier knocked on Etihad’s doors for funding support after it defaulted on payments to lenders and lessors. However, tensions between the two partners had reached a point where Etihad Airways had threatened to pull out of the airline altogether if its conditions were not met, CNBC-TV18 had earlier reported.
Now, with promoter Naresh Goyal stepping down as Chairman of the airline, Etihad Airways is once again said to have considered its position in the airline and may look to stay invested by submitting a bid.
Etihad, however, has refused to comment on "rumour or speculation".
With less than 24 hours left for the April 12 deadline for submission of EOIs to end, sources have also told CNBC-TV18 that Naresh Goyal may also throw his hat in the ring and could submit a bid with another partner.
Banks will scrutinise the EOIs that are received by April 12 to see if they meet the criteria, and are qualified to submit bids. Only qualified bidders will be allowed to submit binding bids by April 30, added the sources.
Canadian airline Air Canada also remains in talks with lenders for a potential bid but has sought more time from banks for submission of EOI.
First Published: IST