The State Bank of India (SBI) has received two unsolicited bids for cash strapped Jet Airways (India) Ltd., while another bid is expected before the end of the day, the bank’s chairman Rajnish Kumar said on Friday.
Kumar, who didn’t elaborate the names of the bidders, added that a binding bid is expected from one of the four interested parties that had earlier submitted their expressions of interest (EoIs) for bidding for a stake in Jet Airways.
Etihad Airways PJSC, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and private equity firms TPG Capital and Indigo Partners had in April submitted their expressions of interest (EoIs) for bidding for a stake in Jet Airways.
A senior SBI official told Mint that the bidder is likely to be Etihad Airways, which is expected to bid for a controlling stake in Jet Airways along with an Indian partner. The official requested anonymity.
Potential buyers are allowed to bid for as much as 75% of the carrier till Friday evening (6 pm).
Etihad Airways PJSC, India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), TPG Capital and Indigo Partners were not immediately available for comments.
Jet Airways suspended operations on 17 April under more than $1 billion of debt and a severe cash crunch. Lenders led by the State Bank of India have taken control of the airline after the resignation of its founder and chairman Naresh Goyal.
According to bid documents prepared by the lenders, strategic bidders looking to invest in Jet Airways should have a minimum net worth of ₹1,000 crore or at least three years of experience in the aviation sector.
For financial investors, qualifying conditions are minimum assets under management (AUM) of ₹2,000 crore or at least ₹1,000 crore in committed funds for investment in Indian firms or assets, according to the expression of interest document that was made available to prospective bidders and reviewed by Mint.