Mumbai/ New Delhi: Two parties, South America’s Synergy Group, and Delhi-based Prudent ARC Limited, have submitted expression of interest (EoI) for Jet Airways (India) Limited before a cut-off date ended on Tuesday .This suggests that a revival of the collapsed airline faces an uphill task, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Mint.
The Hinduja Group, which had earlier shown interest in bidding for the airline, backed out from being a contender, one of the above mentioned people said.
“Subject to the eligibility of the potential bidders, the lenders expect to get binding bids by 17 February,” the person added.
Once a potential bidders puts in EoI, it is given access to Jet Airway’s data room.
Shares of Jet Airways closed 4.91% higher at ₹50.25 on the BSE on Wednesday, while the benchmark Sensex fell nearly 0.19%. Jet shares have remained locked to the upper circuit filter for several sessions in a row on hopes of a rescue.
“Prudent ARC has submitted EoI for Jet Airways. But their assets don’t meet the eligibility criteria of a minimum net worth of ₹2,000 crore,” the second person added.
Prudent ARC Limited (PARC) is an asset restructuring company based out of New Delhi.
Ashish Chhawchharia, the resolution professional appointed by the lenders of Jet Airways, who is overseeing the airline’s sale proceedings, did not comment on the matter.
South America’s Synergy Group had earlier this month submitted a fresh bid for Jet Airways, which was grounded in April last year. In a bidding process initiated last year, Synergy Group was the sole contender for Jet Airways, though the conglomerate did not make a binding bid after seeking several extensions.
However, lenders are skeptical about Synergy Group’s bid because they doubt whether the South American conglomerate would have the financial strength to complete the acquisition.
They are also doubtful because neither has Synergy “put enough people on the assignment, nor made any statutory payment”.
While Synergy wants Jet’s lenders to make a huge haircut on its debt of over ₹8,500 crore, it will also need to find an Indian partner for the acquisition. Another challenge is the financials of the Synergy Group, which suggest that some of the airlines it fully or partially owned in the last few years have shut shops.
Synergy Group, controlled by 69-year-old Bolivia-born Efromovich, is engaged in aviation, energy and telecom.
It’s quite impossible to resurrect Jet Airways, said a Mumbai-based analyst tracking the aviation sector for a global brokerage.
“There’s nothing left in Jet Airways to bid for. The only attraction, the slots, are already redistributed to other airlines, who will not let go without a fight,” the analyst added.
Jet Airways was grounded on 18 April following an acute cash crunch.
On 20 June, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) admitted Jet Airways under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
A consortium of 26 banks led by the State Bank of India have approached NCLT to recover dues of more than ₹8,500 crore. Jet Airways has a negative net worth and accumulated losses of more than ₹13,000 crore over the past few years.