SBI kicks off sale process for control of Jet Airways

Aviation

The State Bank of India (SBI) has formally opened an expression of interest process to attract bidders to take control of ailing carrier Jet Airways.

EOI documents state that the lending consortium that now controls the cash-strapped airline is seeking strategic and financial investors to take a stake of no less than 31.2% and up to 75%, on a fully diluted business.

The SBI defines strategic investors as those with “experience in similar sectors with domestic or global experience” of at least three years, and financial investors as private equity or other investment funds.

Both types of investors will have to self-certify that they have minimum committed funds of Rs10 billion ($144 million) for investment in the previous financial year.

Where the bidder is a consortium, no one party shall hold less than a 15% stake in the vehicle, and one party with “competent authority” will be appointed to lead it.

Responses to the EOI are due by 18:00 India time on 10 April, after which qualifying parties will be selected. They will then have to submit their binding proposals by 30 April.

SBI Capital Markets is acting as advisor to the lenders. In addition to SBI and Punjab National Bank, which have been previously identified as part of the lending syndicate, IDBI Bank, Syndicate Bank, Bank of India and ICICI Bank were identified among the seven other lenders involved.

The EOI documents did not make mention of the Rs15 billion interim funding facility that the lenders were to have advanced the carrier in recent weeks. Similarly, the documents did not disclose any proforma financial statements for the heavily indebted airline.

Last week, aircraft lessors Avolon and MC Aviation Partners filed requests to deregister seven Boeing 737-800s between them that are leased to Jet.