After 18 months of no-show, Jet Airways is ready to fly again, courtesy new owners

Source :Sify
Author :Finance Desk
Last Updated: Tue, Oct 20th, 2020, 14:39:31hrs
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After it flew its last flight one and half year ago, there is some cheer in the Jet Airways camp. Welcome, a new owner.

Last week, the committee of creditors and resolution professionals agreed to onboard the new owners of Jet Airways - a consortium of Kalrock Capital and Murari Lal Jalan.

How much Jalan and Kalrock paid is yet to be revealed, however, it is assumed that Jet could begin flying in the next 8-12 months.

Ashish Chhawchharia, RP for Jet Airways, said that the committee of creditors has concluded e-voting on the final resolution plans submitted by the two shortlisted bidders.

"The e-voting concluded today, October 17, and the resolution plan submitted by Murari Lal Jalan and Florian Fritsch has been duly approved by the CoC…," the filing said.

For those curious to know how much Jet owes to lenders, the total admitted value at the National Company Law Tribunal was Rs 15,225 crores. The actual claims were in excess of Rs 40,000 crores. In fact, Jet at one time reportedly owed a consortium of State Bank of India approximately Rs 8,000 crores. There is no word so far on the break-out of dues.

Apart from the Jalan-Kalrock consortium, the other bids for Jet Airways are by Haryana-based Flight Simulation Technique Centre, Mumbai-based Big Charter and Abu Dhabi's Imperial Capital Investments LLC.

Of the new owners, Jalan is a UAE-based entrepreneur, who owns the company MJ Developers, and has interests in diverse sectors like real estate, mining, trading, construction, FMCG, travel and tourism and industrial works globally.

London-based Kalrock is a global firm operating in financial advisory and alternative asset management, managing significant partners' assets across a number of clearly defined and diversified strategies and single investments, with focus on private markets.

It is mainly active in three verticals - real estate, venture capital and special situations.

Jalan who started with a paper trading business in Kolkata soon ventured into photo imaging and trade of photography equipment.

His name cropped up sometime in 2015 after acquiring a stake in Dr Naresh Trehan and Associates Health Services for Rs 75 crore via a secondary share sale transaction.

According to a Business-Standard report, he was reportedly busy in building a five-star hotel in Uzbekistan.

While Jalan is reported as a complete novice to flying, Kalrock Capital's members such as Manoj Madnani and John Oram have had their experiences in the aviation business.

Madnani was working with the cargo business while Oram has hands-on experience in logistics. Both worked for Polish billionaire Jan Kulczyk.

Challenges for New Owners:

Ever since it had to shut down, Jet has lost its loyal employees, customers, fleet of flights and even air slots. The slots were awarded to other players while several planes were sold off. As on date Jet fleet has barely six of the 120 flights left.

The new owners would also have to restart operations by filing requisite regulatory procedures and re-apply for a license.

When Jet's last flight took off in April 2019, the Naresh Goyal led airliner had no funds to even pay for aviation fuel. 20,000 families of employees were deserted and scores of investors saw their savings take a crash. 43 million shares were dumped on the day Jet Airways made that screeching halt.

The new owners will have to show great commitment to bring the good old glory days of once India's most professional airliner.

Also Read: Jet Airways, the last flight

Image Disclaimer: A file photo of Jet employees as of Apr'19 seeking government or corporate intervention to save the ailing carrier.