London-based investment firm Adi Partners on Wednesday formally placed its bid for Jet Airways, a day before the bid deadline ends.The company, which is led by Sanjay Viswanathan, former chief executive officer of Bangalore-based mid-cap information technology (IT) firm Sonata Software, said it was willing to tie up with Abu-Dhabi-based Etihad Airways for the bid.
“Etihad makes a great partner because we need a strong airline to turn around Jet. I think Etihad will also be interested because they also need a growing market like India. Primarily, we will be bidding for 24 per cent stake in Jet to avoid an open offer because we don’t want to trigger an open offer as it will cause a big-value leakage. The 24 per cent stake will be good enough to run the company if we get a right partner,” as per Vishwanathan.
Meanwhile, the State Bank of India (SBI) has received two unsolicited bids for Jet Airways (India) Ltd., while another bid is expected before the end of the day, the bank’s chairman Rajnish Kumar said on Friday. Kumar didn’t elaborate the names of the bidders. He said that a binding bid is expected from one of the four interested parties that had earlier submitted their expressions of interest (EoIs) for bidding for a stake in Jet Airways.
Etihad Airways PJSC, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and private equity firms TPG Capital and Indigo Partners had in April submitted their expressions of interest (EoIs) for bidding for a stake in Jet Airways.A senior SBI official told Mint that the bidder is likely to be Etihad Airways, which is expected to bid for a controlling stake in Jet Airways along with an Indian partner.
However, Vishwanathan said his entity had submitted the EoI as an individual entity and there was some misunderstanding which saw Adi Partner’s proposal being ruled out. “Unfortunately, there were some miscommunications that we were aligned with Goyal. That queered the pitch for us, with the lenders and we were disqualified. We reached out to SBI Caps and clarified our position. It speaks volume of our expertise that despite not being in the EoI process we were able to submit a binding bid. I am very confident that it will be accepted as ours’ would be the well thought out and most attractive bid,” he said.
After getting shortlisted the four bidders — Etihad Airways, TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and NIIF — showed no further interest citing that they see no value in the company as Jet’s slots and aircraft have been given away to other carriers.
But Vishwanathan said he was not perturbed by this. On the contrary, it gives a fresh chance to restructure the airline’s network.
Earlier, HDFC had put up Jet Airways’ office space for sale with a reserve price of Rs 245 crore, as part of efforts to recover outstanding dues, Rs 414 cr. Jet Airways.