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Tata Sons Says It Is In Preliminary Talks With Jet Airways: 10 Points

Jet Tata Deal: Tata Sons board met amid speculation that it is seeking to merge Jet Airways with Vistara.

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Jet Airways and Tata Deal: Jet Airways shares closed 6.3% higher on the NSE on Friday.

Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, said on Friday it is in preliminary talks with Jet Airways and has made no proposal to acquire a stake in the debt-laden carrier. The statement from Tata Sons came after its board concluded a meeting amid buzz that it could acquire a controlling stake in the debt-ridden carrier. Members of the board, however, refused to talk to reporters after the conclusion of the meeting, which started around noon and lasted for more than four hours. Speculation has been rife in the media that Tata Group is in pursuit of a controlling stake in the Naresh Goyal-led Jet Airways. The cash-starved airline has been struggling to pay its dues on time. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has a 24 per cent stake in the cash-starved airline, while Mr Goyal owns 51 per cent.
Here are 10 latest developments you should know about this big story:
  1. "Over the last few days there has been growing speculation in the print and electronic media about Tata's interest in Jet Airways," Tata Sons said after the board meeting. "We would like to clarify that any such discussions have been preliminary and no proposal has been made."
  2. Tata Sons' board meeting came amid intense speculation that it is seeking to merge the struggling Jet Airways with Vistara, operated jointly by Tata SIA Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
  3. News agency Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that the government has sought Tata Sons' help to rescue Jet Airways.
  4. Earlier, news agency Reuters, citing people aware of the talks, reported that Tata is weighing up the economic viability of the deal which would make it Jet's decision-maker. The merger would also necessitate the departure of Jet Airways' founder Mr Goyal.
  5. However, Jet Airways, the country's biggest full-service carrier, later on Thursday termed the reports as "purely speculative". "The subject news is purely speculative in nature and there are no discussions or decisions by the Board...," Jet Airways said in a regulatory filing.
  6. Shares in Jet Airways closed 6.3 per cent higher on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
  7. Tata Group also operates AirAsia India, in combination with AirAsia Group Bhd.
  8. Jet Airways is struggling to make payments to creditors, including aircraft lessors and employees. Earlier this week, Jet Airways reported its third straight quarterly loss. Net loss stood at Rs 1,297 crore for the period between July-September 2018.
  9. Jet Airways Group currently operates a fleet of 124 aircraft, comprising Boeing 777-300 ERs, Airbus A330-200/300, Boeing 737 Max 8, Next Generation Boeing 737s and ATR 72-500/600s. 
  10. Jet Airways was one of the first to take off in the early 1990s after the country opened up aviation to non-state carriers. (With inputs from agencies)




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Highlights

1
Jet Airways has been struggling to pay its dues on time
2
Speculation is rife that Tatas are seeking to merge Jet with Vistara
3
Tata Group also operates AirAsia India, along with AirAsia Group Bhd

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