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Jet lenders extend deadline for expressions of interest, again

Aims to allow ‘serious bidders’, to also put to vote proposal to lend more to airline.

Updated: Aug 27, 2019, 07.14 AM IST
MUMBAI: The resolution professional (RP) and the committee of creditors appointed for Jet Airways has for the second time decided to extend the deadline for expressions of interest to August 31, said two people close to the development.

Also, lenders to Jet will put to a vote, a proposal to lend the bankrupt airline more money so that employee salary arrears can be cleared, the people added on condition of anonymity. The resolution professional for Jet, appointed by India's bankruptcy court, had on August 3, extended the deadline for the first time to August 10.

“Lenders are happy to extend the deadline because then they will have at least two serious bidders to show in the NCLT. However, there is still some reluctance on lending more funds so it will be put to vote. The e-voting will most likely be done later this week," said one of the person cited above.

The latest extension comes after South American conglomerate Synergy Group Corp, which owns a majority stake in airlines including Colombian carrier Avianca, expressed an exploratory interest to invest in Jet.

The communication from Synergy came after the first deadline of August 10, said a second person in the know. ET reported it on August 26.

The resolution professional had received three EoIs for Jet as of August 10 — from Volcan Investments, which is billionaire Anil Agarwal’s family trust; Panama-based investment firm Avantulo Group, and Russian Fund Treasury RA Creator. Volcan withdrew a day later and Avantulo wasn’t shortlisted for the next round of bidding, leaving the Russian fund as the only selected entity.

The resolution professional had sought to raise Rs 70 crore-80 crore for the airline but could only raise Rs 10 crore. It had earlier this week sought directions from the National Company Law Tribunal to seek additional funding for the committee of creditors.

The resolution professional was appointed by NCLT after it directed an insolvency process against Jet admitting a plea from its top lender State Bank of India on repeated loan defaults by the airline. Jet was grounded on April 17, running out of cash to operate any further.

But the CoC Monday said that a decision of further funding to Jet would be decided via the process of e-voting by respective banks that are part of the committee.
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