Banks are likely to infuse fresh funds into cash strapped Jet Airways provided major shareholders of the airline, including Gulf carrier Etihad Airways, pledge their shares as collateral security. While founder chairman Naresh Goyal and his family owns around 52% stake in Jet Airways, Etihad has 24% shareholding. Jet Airways has a debt burden of more than Rs 8,200 crore.
Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas is believed to have formally conveyed to SBI, Jet Airways’ top lender, that it won’t make any further investment in Jet. Etihad Airways owns 24% in Jet. Etihad Airways and Jet’s lenders have not been able to form a consensus around the resolution plan. Jet’s lenders had reportedly told Etihad it could exit if didn’t agree to conditions in the resolution plan. Etihad had refused an immediate infusion of Rs 750 crore into Jet as demanded by the lenders.
Lenders of Jet Airways have told Jet’s strategic partner Etihad Airways that if it is unable to accept the terms to revive the troubled airline, it should exit so that a new investor can be brought in. Etihad Airways, which reported third straight year of losses in excess of $1.28 billion is unsure of the resolution plan and its probable outcome. Etihad, which owns 24% stake in Jet Airways, could reportedly exit at a price of Rs 150 a share.
The revival plan of Jet Airways’ has been stalled over promoter Naresh Goyal’s insistence that his shareholding shouldn’t be capped at 22% in “perpetuity”. Goyal has sought a waiver of the clause which sought to limit his stake in the airline at 22%. However, Etihad Airways which was supposed to infuse Rs 750 crore emergency funding in Jet, hasn’t approved the funding because of Goyal’s insistence on waiver of the clause. Banks have also refused to infuse any money until the promoter stake is cut from the current 51%.
Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said on Thursday it lost $1.28 billion in 2018. Since 2016, Etihad has lost a total of $4.75 billion. Etihad reported losses of $1.52 billion for 2017 and $1.95 billion in 2016. The airline reported revenues of $5.86 billion in 2018, down from $6 billion in 2017. It flew 17.8 million passengers in 2018, down from 18.6 million the year prior. Etihad Airways also 24%stake in India’s Jet Airways.
Jet Airways outgoing chairman Naresh Goyal has sought an urgent funding of Rs 750 crore from equity partner Etihad Airways. In a letter to Etihad CEO Tony Douglas, Goyal said Jet Airways has received approval from the aviation ministry to pledge its shares in Jet Privelege Pvt. Ltd for securing the interim funding. Jet Airways holds 49.9% stake in the loyalty programme, while the majority is with Etihad. The Gulf-based carrier holds 24% stake in the Indian airline.