Etihad Airways has shown interest in bidding for Jet Airways and has already approached the State Bank of India-led consortium for the same, sources told CNBC-TV18.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline may seek an additional 37 percent stake in Jet which will take its stake to 49 percent, sources said on condition of anonymity. Etihad currently has a 24 percent stake which will fall to 12 percent after lenders take up a majority stake in the airline.
American investment firm TPG is also interested in the cash-strapped airline, said the sources. It may make its bid with a partner fund. TPG had also shown interest in a stake in JetPrivilege in 2018. Apart from TPG, lenders have also reportedly reached out to the Tata Group for a potential investment in Jet Airways.
Moneycontrol had reported on March 20 that even if Tata Group is approached, it will take a couple of months to get it on board, as regulatory norms require due diligence on part of the bidders.
On March 25, Jet founder and Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal stepped down from the board, surrendering control after pressure from lenders amid the deepening debt crisis at the airline. The airline was unable to pay its staff and lessors for months, which resulted in the grounding of over half of its fleet.
The NIIF or National Infrastructure Investment Fund was expected to acquire nearly 20 percent stake in Jet Airways according to the first resolution plan. It could still consider buying a stake in the airline along with a strategic player, the sources added.
SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar had said bids will be invited till April 9 and final bids are expected by April 30. SBI is confident of getting a new investor for Jet by May 31. The airline has over Rs 8,000 crore in debt and is looking for urgent cash to pay its staff and retrieve its fleet.