Jet Airways India Ltd.’s lenders invited initial bids to buy as much as 75 percent of the debt-laden carrier, starting aprocess that will determine the future of India’s oldest surviving private airline.
Potential buyers must submit their interest by April 10, State Bank of India Ltd., the lead creditor, said in a document Monday. A strategic bidder should have a net worth of at least Rs 1,000 crore ($144 million) in the preceding financial year, or at least three years of experience in the airline business.
The airline is credited with successfully breaking the monopoly of state-run Air India Ltd. and was once India’s second-biggest carrier, but its fleet has dwindled to 26 planes from 124 as recently as January. Accumulated losses in nine of the past 11 years have caused Jet Airways to delay payments to banks, lessors and employees, while its founder Naresh Goyal was forced to cede control of the carrier.
Shares of Jet Airways fell 1.5 percent to Rs 252.30 as of 9:42 a.m. in Mumbai, extending this year’s losses to 9.1 percent. The stock dropped 67 percent last year