Mumbai: Media baron Kalanithi Maran, who has raised his controlling stake in domestic carrier SpiceJet Ltd to about 53%, expects the regulator to approve this weekend an open offer for an additional 20% holding, two airline executives said on condition of anonymity.

“Maran and his associate company KAL Airways Pvt. Ltd will be able to launch the open offer by this month-end," one of the officials said. “Meanwhile, SpiceJet will be filling the top management posts that were lying vacant."

High stakes: Kalanithi Maran and KAL Airways on Tuesday acquired a 7.42% stake in SpiceJet through an off-market transfer.

Maran and KAL Airways on Tuesday acquired a 7.42% stake in SpiceJet through an off-market transfer, the firm told the Bombay Stock Exchange. They bought 28.5 million equity shares at 47.25 a share, a discount of around 38.5% to the market price.

The move comes less than a week after Maran and KAL acquired a 5% stake to raise their holding to 45.26% in SpiceJet. On 9 October, Mint reported they had purchased 19.3 million equity shares for 47.25 a share.

The company also announced that its foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) have been converted into 19.3 million equity shares.

Maran and KAL’s stake, not taking into consideration the FCCB conversion, is now at 52.69%. Mint could not ascertain the change in the shareholding pattern of the promoters after the conversion.

India’s second largest low fare carrier picked Neil Raymond Mills as its new chief executive officer on 11 October.

Sun TV Network Ltd chief Maran, who paid 746 crore in June for a 37.7% stake in the Gurgaon-based airline, has to offer to buy an additional 20% stake in line with takeover rules.

The open offer was due to start on 6 August and close on 25 August. It has since been deferred but no new dates have been set.

Mint could not immediately contact the regulator for a comment on the status of SpiceJet’s open offer.

Enam Securities Pvt. Ltd is managing the process for Maran and KAL Airways.

The carrier’s shares rose 0.26% to end at 76.85 on a day the bellwether Sensex index fell 136.55 points, or 0.67%, to 20,203.34.

SpiceJet launched international operations on 7 October by connecting Kathmandu in Nepal with New Delhi and connecting Colombo in Sri Lanka with Chennai starting 9 October.

“As of now, we will stick to these two routes," the second SpiceJet executive said. “We will be looking at other markets including West Asia once these routes mature."

SpiceJet operates 141 flights daily to 19 cities with 21 Boeing 737 planes. On 30 July, SpiceJet said it has placed a fresh order for 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.