In a major setback to the lenders' revival/sale plan of the grounded Jet Airways, two operational creditors -- Shaman Wheels and Gaggar Enterprises -- on Monday moved the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) seeking bankruptcy proceedings against the airline. The tribunal issued notices to Jet Airways and banks which own the airline now and posted the matter for further hearing on June 13 when it will decide on admitting or rejecting the bankruptcy pleas. The development comes at a time when banks are looking to resolve the once premier airline's debt issues outside the insolvency process.
Jet Airways owes more than Rs 8,000 crore to a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India, which now runs the airline, while it has a much larger debt pile by way of accumulated losses to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore and vendor dues of over Rs 10,000 crore and salary dues of over Rs 3,000 crore.
The banks have appointed SBI Capital Markets as the investment banker to find an investor to scout an investor for the company. Bankers, after taking over the airline late March had invited bids on April 8 to sell up to 75 per cent stake in the crippled carrier that formally stopped operations on April 17.
Though it had received initial bids from parties-Ethihad Airways, two private equity players TPG Capital and Indigo Partners, and the sovereign wealth fund NIIF, none of them chose to submit the final bids.
Currently, the bankers are trying to stave off bankruptcy even as media reports said Etihad Airways, which already owns 24 per cent in the airline, has teamed up with the Hindujas to buy the airline.
Jet Airways shares closed flat at Rs 125.20 on the BSE, down 0.36 per cent on a day when the benchmark gained 0.43 per cent.