Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer James Hogan and chief financial officer James Rigney are likely to be two of the three
nominees from the Gulf carrier on the board of directors of Jet Airways, sources in the know of the development confirmed. The third name is still being firmed up.
Etihad, which agreed to pick up 24% stake in the Naresh Goyal-owned Jet Airways for $379 million last week, will get three seats on the seven-member board of Jet. All foreign board members would require security clearances from Indian authorities before joining the company.
“Once Etihad finalises all the names, the designated persons will apply for security clearances,” said a person in the know of the development. “Security clearance is just a formality and there wouldn’t be any hurdles.”
The structure of the board ensures that despite the stake sale to Etihad, there is no transfer of control. With three board seats, Etihad will only have a minority representation on the Jet Airways board.
Etihad’s Hogan has been credited with turning around the airline into profits during a challenging 2011. The chief financial officer James Rigney is known to be a confidante of Hogan, with the two having worked together at Gulf Air before Etihad.
On Monday, Jet Airways informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that the current promoter company Tail Winds, registered in the Isle of Man, will transfer its shareholding directly to Naresh Goyal. Goyal owns all the shares in Tail Winds.
Post the allotment to Etihad and transfer of shares from Tail Winds, Naresh Goyal will own 51% of Jet Airways and will be the non-executive chairman of the airline. The public shareholding of the company will be around 25%, with Etihad having the remaining 24%. On Tuesday, Jet’s shares closed 1.93% at R621.35 on the BSE.