Amid uncertainty over future of Jet Airways, the consortium of SBI-led lenders on Thursday said bids for selling stake would be invited on April 6 and other options would be explored in case the stake sale efforts does not result in an "acceptable outcome". After taking stock of the current situation at cash-strapped Jet Airways, which is currently operating less than 30 planes, the lenders said they would pursue resolution plan for the carrier in a time-bound manner under the present legal and regulatory framework.
The expressions of interest for selling stake in the ailing airline would be invited on April 6 and the last date for submission of bids would be April 9, a statement issued by the SBI (State Bank of India) on behalf of 26 lenders said.
SBI is the lead lender to Jet Airways, which has a debt burden of more than Rs 8,000 crore.
"The lenders are cognisant that the outcome of the efforts of the lenders will depend on the interest shown by the parties on sale of stake in the company," the statement issued late in the evening said.
"Whilst all efforts will be made for the stake sale by the lenders, other options may be considered by the lenders should these efforts not result in an acceptable outcome," it said.
The statement was issued after a nearly three-hour meeting of the lenders in the national capital. The meeting was chaired by SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar, who earlier in the day met several government officials in the finance and civil aviation ministries.
Under the debt resolution plan approved by the Jet Airways' board on March 25, lenders have taken majority stake in the airline and are set to infuse Rs 1,500 crore funds. Besides, the carrier's founder and promoter Naresh Goyal as well as his wife Anita Goyal quit the board. The shareholding of Goyals have come down to 25 per cent from 51 per cent earlier.
On Wednesday, Naresh Goyal, former chairman of the airline, said he had agreed to every term and condition laid down by lenders to ensure timely release of funds for the airline.
Acute financial crunch has forced the airline to ground aircraft, cancel flights and delay payment of salaries, including to pilots.
Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said Jet Airways is currently operating a fleet of 26 planes and the airline right now fulfils the criteria for operating on international routes.
Jet Airways, which is grappling with acute financial woes, had a fleet of around 119 planes.
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