Bengaluru: Tata Sons Ltd has held preliminary discussions to buy a large stake in debt-laden Jet Airways (India) Ltd, the Times of India reported on Thursday. Tata has sought management control of Jet Airways, seeking at least 26% initially and another 26% via an open offer later, the paper said.

Jet Airways has been facing a financial crunch amid rising oil prices and a depreciating rupee. In a bid to revive itself, Jet Airways said in August it will inject funds and cut costs to turn around the business, without elaborating further.

A Jet Airways representative said the news report was speculative, while the Tata Group declined to comment.

Tata Sons is the holding company for the Tata Group which already has two aviation ventures in India—Vistara with Singapore Airlines and AirAsia India with the Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Bhd. The proposal for buying a stake in Jet Airways also comes at a time when Vistara is looking to fly overseas.

Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal is the majority owner of the airline in which Etihad Airlines also owns a stake. The struggling airline has also not been able to pay salaries to the employees on time.

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