Fresh hope for Jet Airways, unsolicited bidder offers Rs 14,000 crores to clear liabilities

Last Updated: Wed, May 15, 2019 22:56 hrs
Jet Airways B777

Mumbai: Darwin Group, a lesser known firm has been reported as among the serious bidders for Jet Airways. The top management of Darwin, an unsolicited bidder reportedly met officials of SBI Caps, the official bid managers from the consortium of lenders, to discuss a proposal.

Darwin Group's CEO Rahul Ganpule was quoted in a PTI story as saying that the group offered Rs 14,000 crores to existing lenders to acquire Jet Airways. According to him, a bid was placed on May 8.

The Darwin Group and its top management met the SBI Caps officials to gather for information such as financial details. Darwin Group is an unsolicited bidder in Jet Airways and hence access to financial information has been limited. "The solicited bidders have been given access to the actual information but unsolicited bidders do not have," Ganpule was quoted as saying in a PTI story.

Apparently, if selected, Darwin Group could offer the entire Rs 14,000 crores as a "one time settlement" to clear Jet's past liabilities.

"It would be one time settlement and all the past liabilities (of Jet Airways) would be taken care of. The acquisition will be funded through internal accruals," he was quoted as saying further.

Ganpule, himself has been reported as saying that Darwin Group was in touch with Etihad for taking them on board.

Jet Airways has had a reported debt in excess of Rs 8,000 crores. A series of financial misjudgements cost Jet Airways badly leading to the carrier abruptly ceasing operations on April 17 2019.

The Jet management asked existing lenders to infuse Rs 1000 crores in the first week of April. However, lenders were unwilling to infuse fresh investments. SBI caps was roped in to invite expressions of interest in the Jet sale.

Besides Jet's current investment partner Etihad Airways, SBI caps has received two other unsolicited bids on May 10, the last date of submission of financial bids. Of these, Etihad's bid was considered as conditional. Etihad had a number of terms and riders that have made the Jet revival seemingly an uphill task. Read the terms here.

Private equity firms IndiGo Partners and TPG, Etihad Airways and sovereign fund NIIF were shortlisted last month after initial bids.