The lenders to the defunct Jet Airways Monday for the third time extended the deadline for submission of expressions of interest for stake sale in the bankrupt airline to August 31 after a new bidder showed interest post-August 10 deadline. After the second deadline on August 10, there were three bids, but one opted out while another one did not qualify, leaving just one in the race. The decision to extend the deadline for EoIs was taken by the lenders at a meeting of the committee of creditors held in the financial capital.
“The lenders have decided to extend the deadline to submit EoIs till August 31,” a banker told PTI. The bidders in the second round included the energy baron Anil Agarwal’s family trust-backed Volcan Investments, Russian Fund Treasury RA Partners and the Panama-based investment firm Avantulo Group.
However, Volcan opted out of the race a day after publicly announcing its interest in Jet, while Avantulo reportedly disqualified, leaving only the Russian fund. After the deadline, the South American conglomerate Synergy Group Corp reportedly evinced interest in the airline, forcing the RP to seek the lenders’ nod to extend the deadline to August 31. The Synergy Group owns a majority in Colombian carrier Avianca Holdings, which has a codeshare partnership with the state-run Air India.
Also, it can be noted Etihad Airways, which owns 24 percent stake in Jet, did not submit its bids. This is the third time that lenders have extended the deadline submitting EoIs after the one on August 3 and 10. Besides, the meeting also decided that the resolution professional would seek additional funds from banks to recover some of the engines stuck at a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Singapore, the source added. The bankruptcy court had on June 20 appointed Ashish Chhawchharia as RP, who late last month had floated EoIs for the airline that stopped flying mid-April. Jet Airways has liabilities over Rs 26,000 crore.
These include over Rs 10,000 crore of vendor dues, Rs 8,500 crore along with interest owed to the lenders, over Rs 3,000 crore in salary dues, and over Rs 13,500 crore in accumulated losses over the past three years. It can be noted that the lead banker to the airline State Bank had earlier approved a Rs 10 crore interim funding.
Other banks are also in the process of approving the same, bankers said. The lenders on June 17 decided to send the airline, which stopped flying on April 17, to the NCLT as they could not find a buyer. Early July RP had received claims worth over Rs 25,500 crore as of July 4, including over Rs 200 crore from founder Naresh Goyal, submitted by the holding company of the airline JetAir, but was rejected. State Bank has made a claim of Rs 1,644 crore, including cash credit inclusive of interest, term loans and bank guarantees. Yes Bank has claimed Rs 1,084 crore, followed by PNB’s Rs 963 crore and IDBI Bank’s Rs 594 crore.
Operational creditors excluding workmen and employees have made a claim of Rs 12,372 crore, with the entire amount being under verification, while the workmen and employees have made a claim of Rs 443 crore which is also under verification.
Apart from this, authorised representatives of workmen and employees have made 11,965 claims of Rs 735 crore, he said, adding other creditors, including other financial creditors and operational creditors, have made 121 claims amounting to Rs 1,105 crore.