Lenders to grounded Jet Airways are confident over the future of the airline, with Rajnish Kumar, chairman of State Bank of India (SBI) expressing hope that clarity will emerge in a week's time.
"Various options are being evaluated. Legal opinion is being taken. There are many investors who are showing interest. We have to see whether they have the money and the wherewithal. I think the clarity should emerge in a week's time," the SBI chief told IANS on Saturday.
When asked if there were investors other than those who had submitted unsolicited offers, Kumar said that there were many who were showing interest. He, however, did not elaborate on the names of the bidders but added that their seriousness would have to be checked.
London-based AdiGro Group, the parent company of AdiGro Aviation, is one of the unsolicited bidders for Jet Airways, who has offered to restart the airline's operations by July 1. Sanjay Viswanathan, Founder and Chairman of AdiGroup has expressed his interest to partner with Etihad Airways and turn around the 25 year old airline which had shut its operations on April 17.
The SBI, which leads a consortium of domestic lenders to Jet Airways, had reportedly approached unsolicited bidders last week including UK-based entrepreneur Jason Unsworth, Mumbai-based Darwin Platform Group and AdiGro Aviation.
The consortium of 26 lenders, which seeks to recover their dues of over Rs 8,400 crore, had shortlisted private equity firm TPG Capital, Indigo Partners, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Etihad Airways to submit their bids after they put forward their Expression of Interest (EoI). Out of four, only Etihad Airways expressed its interest to buy stake in the debt-laden airline that too on the last date of the bidding i.e. May 10.
There were reports that the bidders had lost interest in the airline after its aircraft and slots at airports in Delhi and Mumbai were handed over to competitors. However, the SBI Chairman has recently ruled out the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) route for the crisis-hit Jet Airways.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar