Mumbai/New Delhi: South America’s Synergy Group has submitted a fresh bid for Jet Airways (India) Ltd which was grounded in April, the Brazil-headquartered group’s legal adviser said.
“I am pleased to inform you that today (Monday) Synergy has presented a fresh EoI (expression of interest) to purchase Jet Airways," said a statement from Antonio Guizzetti, president of Guizzetti and Associates. The Washington-based law firm is advising Synergy, led by South American tycoon Germán Efromovich.
Guizzetti, however, didn’t reveal if Synergy Group has partnered any company to bid for Jet Airways, which was grounded on 18 April following an acute cash crunch.
Shares of Jet Airways closed nearly 5% higher at ₹35.90 on the BSE on Monday, while the benchmark Sensex fell nearly 2%. Jet shares have remained locked to the upper circuit filter for five sessions in a row on hopes of a rescue.
It wasn’t immediately clear if any other entity has bid for Jet Airways.
When contacted, Ashish Chhawchharia, the resolution professional appointed by the lenders of Jet Airways, who is overseeing the airline’s sale proceedings, didn’t offer comments.
In a bidding process initiated last year, Synergy Group was the sole contender for Jet Airways, though the conglomerate did not make a binding bid after seeking several extensions.
Mint reported last week that Synergy Group, London-based Hinduja Group and a Dubai-based fund are the three potential bidders for the bankrupt airline.
Hinduja Group has presence in automobiles, financial services, and oil and gas, while Synergy Group, controlled by 69-year-old Bolivia-born Efromovich, is engaged in aviation, energy and telecom.
Jet Airways’ lenders, which have repeatedly extended the deadline for EoI, are unwilling to give any more time and have set a final deadline of 15 January. The lenders were earlier considering liquidation if bids were not received by the deadline.
“Lenders are wary of this bid, although the resolution professional is confident about it," a banker aware of the development said. “A section of the lenders believes that Synergy does not have the strength of the balance sheet to bid for the airline. Also, it has not put enough people on the assignment, nor made any statutory payment, which is creating concern among a few lenders."
While Synergy wants Jet’s lenders to make a huge haircut on its debt of over ₹8,500 crore, it will also need to find an Indian partner for the acquisition. Another challenge is the financials of the Synergy Group, which has seen some of the airlines it fully or partially owned shutting shop in the last few years.