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Why is Thursday Important for Cash-starved Jet Airways?

Key bidder Etihad Airways may outline its bid for Jet Airways on Thursday itself since Friday (10 May) is a holiday in UAE, where Etihad is based.

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Updated:May 9, 2019, 12:24 PM IST
Why is Thursday Important for Cash-starved Jet Airways?
Jet Airways employees display placards as they gather to make an appeal for saving the cash-starved airline following the shutdown of its operations. (PTI)

Jet Airways India Ltd, the full-service airline that ran out of cash and temporarily shut down operations on 17 April, stares at an important day ahead as the bidding process will be concluded tomorrow, i.e. 10 May. It is critical for Jet Airways, founded by Naresh Goyal, to get a buyer who brings urgent funding to pay Jet Airways employees, lessors and slowly get Jet Airways operations back to the pre-crisis level.

Private equity firm TPG Capital, Indigo Partners, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Etihad Airways are in the race to buy a stake in the grounded airline. If the bidding doesn’t go through as planned, other options would be looked at. Lenders, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), had earlier said that they may also consider initiating bankruptcy proceedings against Jet Airways.

According to a report, key bidder Etihad Airways may outline its bid for Jet Airways on Thursday itself since Friday (10 May) is a holiday in UAE, where Etihad is based.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways, founded by Naresh Goyal, on Wednesday also got its first full proposal from an unlikely group of investors that includes two little known entrepreneurs--a British and an NRI--and investment firms Future Trend Capital Investments, Redcliffe Capital and Adi Partners. Future Trend and Adi Partners had earlier teamed up with Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal to submit an expression of interest for the airline. Redcliffe Capital had also submitted an EoI (expression of interest) along with Think Capital. But, none of those was shortlisted to put in a bid.

“We submitted the bid last night,” said British entrepreneur Jason Unsworth, the founder of airline start-up Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines. He is joined by Lakshay Uttam, the founder of My World Ventures, an Amsterdam-based firm with interests in hospitality and aviation. It remains to be seen if SBI Caps, which is overseeing the bidding process, will accept the bid as none of the investors was shortlisted earlier.

Jet Airways shares were trading 2% higher at Rs 134 apiece on BSE in early trade on Thursday.

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