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SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh to bid for Air India; prepares $1 bn war chest

SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh to bid for Air India; prepares $1 bn war chest

Singh will reportedly hold a minimum 26 per cent shareholding in the SPV, while the US funds are likely to contribute around $700 million to it

The plans are reportedly still fluid and the final agreement might see some changes The plans are reportedly still fluid and the final agreement might see some changes

SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh is arranging a $1 billion war chest for his Air India bid. The bid will be made through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) which is likely to see investments from two US-based funds. Singh will reportedly hold a minimum 26 per cent shareholding in the SPV, while the US funds are likely to contribute around $700 million to it.

Singh will use a combination of his shares in the company as well as equity allocated to him as part of the planned hive-off of SpiceJet’s cargo business as security. He aims to raise about $300 million from that equity, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times. He might offload part of his stake at SpiceJet’s cargo unit once the unit is listed.

This will be Singh’s personal contribution to the SPV that will bid for the government’s entire shareholding in the airline.

People in the know informed the daily that the plans are still fluid and the final agreement might see some changes.

The budget airline informed stock exchanges on June 30 that it plans to turn its cargo business into a separate entity, subject to shareholder approval.

Meanwhile, the government has set a deadline for August third week for submission of financial bids for Air India. The airline’s stake in low-fare carrier Air India Express and 50 per cent in cargo and ground handling venture with Singapore’s SATS are also part of the sale.  Air India that has been put up for sale has a debt of Rs 37,000 which is likely to be parked in an asset holding company owned by the government.

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