Naresh Goyal ready to put Rs 700 cr in Jet

Naresh Goyal ready to put Rs 700 cr in Jet
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New Delhi, Jan 17: Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal has told the State Bank of India (SBI) that he is ready to invest up to Rs 700 crore in the airline on the condition that his stake does not fall below 25 per cent.
Meanwhile, SBI on Thursday said lenders to Jet are considering a plan toward resolving the airline’s debt woes, amid increasing prospects of a bailout by major shareholder Etihad Airways.
Goyal’s offer comes against the backdrop of strategic partner Etihad reportedly putting forward strict conditions, including that Goyal should give up control, for infusing funds into the crisis-hit carrier. In a letter to SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar, Goyal said he is writing with reference to the resolution plan under discussion and in view of Etihad’s position, “despite the significant cash crunch and imminent grounding, which the airline is facing”.
Goyal said he is committed to an “infusion of funds into the company to the extent of Rs 700 crore” and pledging all his shares. This is subject to the condition that his shareholding post such infusion is at least 25 per cent, he said in the letter.
“Should this not be possible, then I would not be able to infuse any funds or pledge my shares, unless Sebi accords me an exemption permitting me to increase my reduced stake (if it is to be below 25 per cent) without triggering the Takeover Code,” as per the letter.
For its part, the SBI statement elaborates on Jet comments made on Wednesday, in which the airline said a plan, involving a cash injection by stakeholders and board changes, was under discussion.
“SBI would like to state that lenders are considering a restructuring plan under the RBI framework for the resolution of stressed assets that would ensure long-term viability of the company,” the state-owned bank said in a statement, referring to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
SBI’s executive committee was scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the plan, news channel BTVI reported, citing unidentified sources. The restructuring of loans extended by SBI is subject to Jet finding a strategic partner, BTVI also said. The bank, in its statement, said any resolution plan would be subject to clearance by the central bank, market regulator and the civil aviation ministry, as well as approval from the airline’s board and all of its lenders.