New Delhi: SBI Capital Markets Ltd on Wednesday extended the deadline for investors to bid for a controlling stake of up to 75% in Jet Airways (India) Ltd by two days till Friday. A notice posted on the website of the state-run investment bank said the revised last date for sending queries is 11 April and that expressions of interest will be accepted till 6pm on 12 April.
An official privy to the Jet Airways bidding process, however, said that a few investors have made enquiries about the stake sale.
Wednesday was a tough day for Jet Airways as Indian Oil Corp. Ltd halted fuel supplies to the airline for breaching the credit limit agreed upon, a person aware of the matter said. This is the second time Indian Oil is halting supplies to the airline over dues.
“There is a limit to the credit one could extend to a customer. The terms of supply with the Indian Oil Corp. is the most attractive an airline could get. Once payment is made, supplies will resume," said this person.
Later in the day, Indian Oil resumed fuel supplies to Jet Airways, the person said.
Burdened by high operating costs and a huge debt, Jet Airways has been struggling to stay afloat. Its fleet has shrunk to 26 planes from 119 just before it defaulted on interest payments on 31 December. Since January, it hasn’t paid salaries to a section of its staff, and lessors have taken possession of planes after the airline failed to pay rents.
Lenders, led by the State Bank of India, took control of Jet Airways in March and forced its founder Naresh Goyal to relinquish all roles in the carrier in order to resolve the crisis.
The lenders had in February decided to convert a portion of the airline’s debt into equity by agreeing to take a 50.5% stake in Jet Airways, nominate two members to its board, and make a cash infusion of about ₹1,500 crore into the airline.
The lenders are yet to convert their debt into equity.
On Wednesday, Jet Airways shares fell 1.59% to ₹263.40 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex shed 0.91% to end the day at 38,585.35 points.