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Jet Airways: Naresh Goyal looks to sell stake, assets to keep airline afloat

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Naresh Goyal, promoter of Jet Airways, is trying to sell part of his 51 percent shareholding in order to infuse money in the airline, sources told CNBC-TV18.

Naresh Goyal, promoter of Jet Airways, is trying to sell part of his 51 percent shareholding in order to infuse money in the airline, sources told CNBC-TV18.
The airline is also looking to sell non-core assets, real estate and nearly 17 wide-bodied planes that it owns.
Apart from this, Jet Airways is renegotiating contracts with vendors across the board to bring costs down.
Goyal is looking to sell up to 20 percent of his shareholding via a fresh issue and a secondary sale, sources said, adding, “The plans to sell promoter stake began post fourth quarter of last year after it became clear that cash infusion was necessary."
 
“Investment bankers and consultants have been appointed and mandated to create a comprehension plan for debt reduction and stake sale in the company," the source further said.
Another official, who wished not to be quoted, said that non-core assets of Jet Airways are also on the block.
"In addition to cash infusion by stake solution, the investment bankers and consultants have been asked to chart out a plan for sale of non-core assets, some real estate," said the source.
Another official said, "Jet Airways owns 15-17 wide-bodied aircraft. Sale of these planes will give the airline enough breathing space and working capital to stay afloat for a while."
The airline has already grounded some planes flying on loss making routes and will prune the list further.
However, the company has denied the news and said the airline was not looking to sell any stake.
The company has been in dialogue with key stakeholders, including its pilots and engineers, to apprise them of the challenges being faced by the aviation sector in India generally and by the company in particular and to enlist their full support and cooperation for realising necessary savings across all functions of the business, Jet Airways said in an exchange filing.
Air France, KLM and Delta were in talks with Jet Airways last year, but the stake-sale talks did not materialise as the airline refused to climb down on valuation.
Sources confirmed that promoters are now revisiting stake-sale talks with the three airlines.
“The three players have already been approached along with a few private equity players,” the source said.
Etihad Airways owns 24 percent stake in Jet Airways at the moment.
Earlier today, The Economic Times reported that Jet Airways will not be able to operate for more than two months without taking cost cutting measures, terming the financial condition of the airline as 'severe’.
The development comes as the management's suggestion to opt for up to 25 percent salary cuts led to protest among the employees, said the report.
(This report has been updated with Jet Airways' comments)

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