Jet Airways is likely to sign a term sheet and announce a 24% stake sale to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways on Friday, sources confirmed on Thursday. The deal, once concluded, would be the first instance of foreign direct investment in a domestic carrier by an overseas airline firm since the sector was opened up in September 2012.
“The deal is likely to happen in two tranches wherein there will be a direct sale of shares in the first tranche and then a second tranche will see issue of fresh equity and warrants,” a person with knowledge of the development said, adding that Jet will most likely sign the term sheet on Friday, barring any last-minute disruptions.
“Post the deal, Naresh Goyal will continue to be promoter and chairman of Jet Airways but the board of directors will be expanded to include some nominees of Etihad,” the person said.
FE had reported on January 22 that Etihad’s offer will be taken up at Jet’s board meeting on February 1 to discuss the quarterly earnings.
Meanwhile, Jet's senior management including promoter Goyal and Etihad's senior officials including chief executive officer James Hogan met civil aviation minister Ajit Singh and commerce minister Anand Sharma on Thursday.
Hogan said the meeting with aviation ministry officials about a possible deal with Jet Airways was “very good”. “The talks are still continuing,” said Hogan, without giving more details.
Aviation minister Singh also added that the ministry has no problem if the two airlines get the requisite regulatory clearance. “The government's role is to make sure that whatever agreement they come to is within the regulatory framework,” Singh told reporters after the meeting the Jet Airways and Etihad delegations.
“It's a very good move that Jet and Etihad are talking,” he added. “The government allowed foreign direct investment in aviation looking at the whole sector, their reach and technical expertise.”
The Etihad and Jet delegations also met commerce minister Sharma later in the day.
“We have put in place an enabling policy and any investment under the policy is welcome,” said Sharma after the meeting.
Sources said that the two airlines are still ironing out valuation issues but the deal could take place at anywhere between Rs 760 and Rs 800 per share, giving Jet Airways a valuation of anywhere between Rs 6,500 crore and Rs 6,900 crore as per the current outstanding shares.
On Thursday, the Jet share